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Thread: are there still gold rings in the bottom of the cracker Jacks box?

  1. #1
    Daihonmei
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    are there still gold rings in the bottom of the cracker Jacks box?

    We come to the koi hobby from many walks of life. Professionals, blue collar, men, woman, teens, elderly. Koi keepers come in all forms and of all ages. But being an AKK I can tell you that there are some 'universal' thoughts amongst us all! We all find the show and want to be a part of it or not. And if we are taken by the idea of the show, we want our very best fish to win and win all its life as it grows and hopefully gets better and better. And then we learn that each koi has its own fate and destiny in terms of winning at koi shows.
    The second most universal thought is -- I want to find that 'gold ring' missed by the breeder that allowed it to slip into circulation and become the GC of a well known koi show! Can it happen?

    In the world of the practical, the answer is no. But statistically speaking, it is possible, as it has happened! part of the keeping of koi is a dream like vision of the perfect scene in the perfect pond. So I discourage no one! In fact, the last koi show I had the honor of judging had such a fish in it! Amazing . JR
    kirkabilly! likes this.

  2. #2
    Daihonmei
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    the ideal standard--- a three dimensional moving target

    When I first began as a koi show exhibitor, I was sure that there was only one true standard. And that was based on pattern. If the pattern was balanced and attractive then surly that was the best fish in the show and a fish that could win at size 1 and all the way up to size 7! Therefore there was only one standard and one element to a great koi-- great pattern and intense color! oooh was a wrong. Liitle did I know that it would take 70 plus koi show judgings and lots of koi that turned to 'mush' to come to understand the true nature of show koi.

    This is a topic for another thread but one of the most valuable things a koi judge needs to be able to do as second nature, is to see koi thru the eyes of the beginner, the EKK and the AKK. And also, if a trainee judge is to be brought along, it is imperative for a head judge to be able to see how his assistant and trainee judge, sees koi. But I digresss---

    In truth there are at least 6 fundamental standards at work in every koi show! And a few more depending on how you want to talk about koi and koi varieties. It is not necessary for the exhibitor to see koi as working show judges do. But it is helpful to understand that a koi show is also a live stock show. And juvenile individuals are NOT judged the same as mature adult koi. This is one of the reasons why that 'cracker jacks gold ring' koi is so hard to find. JR

  3. #3
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    I think it is certainly possible. But, which varieties give the better odds? My gut reaction would be a shiro utsuri, and maybe a showa. Due to the changing nature of sumi, relative to water qualities, something with promise may slip through. I remember reading an article interviewing the Owner of Omosako. He discussed the issue of how long should he hold on to a koi, that has no sumi showing? If by the fourth year or so, no pattern has developed...no reason to hold it forever. But, of course, he would have liked to hold them all longer. So, I think something worthwhile can slip through...and be successful later. Hey, the Maruyama showa was sold relatively cheaply...and won the all japan show!!


    If your desire to succeed is greater than your desire to fail, then you will succeed.

  4. #4
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutuscz View Post
    I think it is certainly possible. But, which varieties give the better odds? My gut reaction would be a shiro utsuri, and maybe a showa. Due to the changing nature of sumi, relative to water qualities, something with promise may slip through. I remember reading an article interviewing the Owner of Omosako. He discussed the issue of how long should he hold on to a koi, that has no sumi showing? If by the fourth year or so, no pattern has developed...no reason to hold it forever. But, of course, he would have liked to hold them all longer. So, I think something worthwhile can slip through...and be successful later. Hey, the Maruyama showa was sold relatively cheaply...and won the all japan show!!
    I agree that something may slip by the eye of the breeder, but only to a limited degree. On the fourth or fifth selection, let us say, the breeder puts a tosai in the sale tub that in hindsight should have been kept. That tosai will not be in the cheap sales vat. It will be rather costly for a tosai, but it is for sale. The hobbyist with a good eye or good luck may then raise it to its potential, and have gotten a real bargain. But, it will not have been a cheap tosai becoming a silk purse. It will be an expensive tosai becoming better than anticipated. There may be a $100 tosai in the $25 sale tank, but it is a delusion that a $1,000 tosai will be found there. The breeder would not have made that much of a mistake, and if they did the dealer would catch it before the price sign was written.

  5. #5
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutuscz View Post
    I think it is certainly possible. But, which varieties give the better odds? My gut reaction would be a shiro utsuri, and maybe a showa. Due to the changing nature of sumi, relative to water qualities, something with promise may slip through. I remember reading an article interviewing the Owner of Omosako. He discussed the issue of how long should he hold on to a koi, that has no sumi showing? If by the fourth year or so, no pattern has developed...no reason to hold it forever. But, of course, he would have liked to hold them all longer. So, I think something worthwhile can slip through...and be successful later. Hey, the Maruyama showa was sold relatively cheaply...and won the all japan show!!

    No way! Gosanke is way too graded from highest quality to lowest to easily snag a GC out of the $60 vat! And the highest are very very expensive. And Shiro is a roll of the dice as most amateur judges are not knowing what they are seeing as evidenced by the choice or shiro with hard white shiroji as the best in the show, so in that case, you need to count on human error.
    If I was gunning for the gold ring in the bottom of the cracker jack box, I'd concentrate on other varieties such as ochiba, yamabuki, asagi, shusui, kumonryu-- in those varieties you can wind up with a diamond in the rough that blooms into a world class swan ( to mix my metaphors).

    The 'currency' is in the mail B, ! JR

  6. #6
    Jumbo
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    'I want to find that 'gold ring' missed by the breeder that allowed it to slip into circulation and become the GC of a well known koi show! Can it happen?'

    Yeah the biggest issue with finding a gold ring Gosanke beyond the breeder making a mistake is the path the young Koi takes, or the distribution chain it goes through. Obviously the Koi a breeder 'chooses' as his best of the crop stay on a path that promotes the very best growth and color development,... for as long as possible,... until the Koi is sold. On the other hand the 'also rans' get put on a different path,... where crowding and water conditions and diet can speed up color development, stunt growth, and speed up sexual maturity,... ALL detrimental and major obstacles when the goal is a high award winning Koi.

    SO, even when you find a Koi in the cheap vats that shows good potential to your eye, it's already at a huge disadvantage.

    Brady Brandwood


  7. #7
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Futoshi Maruyama told me about selling the showa that went on to become Grand Champion of the all Japan show. His father retired about 20 years ago giving Futoshi control of the family koi farm. The following year their biggest customer was at the farm shopping for koi and spotted a tosai showa that he wanted to view in a tub. Futoshi told him not for sale but allowed it to be netted and tubbed for closer inspection. The customer really liked the koi and wanted to buy it. Futoshi finally relented because the customer had been so loyal to the farm and said he would sell but it would be expensive and the koi must be left in his care he had the option to buy it back if it won a major award at a show to use as a parent koi for the same price. To Futoshi's dismay the customer agreed and they settled on a price at the time was equal to about $2,500. After the customer departed Futoshi's father told him he had made a huge mistake and sold the best tategoi from that year's crop. If he continued to make those kind of mistakes he would bankrupt the farm.

    Fast forward about 13 years and this same showa won the All Japan SHow in about 2005 at the age of about 14 or 15 years old. It had survived a life threatening illness and also barely survived the big Niigata earthquake of 2004 being discovered in a tiny pocket of water at the bottom of a collapsed mud pond high the the mountains. But that is another story.
    Disclosure:These opinions are based on my experience and conversations with persons I consider accomplished koi keepers and do not reflect the viewpoint of any organization.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I will add one experience of finding a 'gold ring'. A few years ago, Mat McCann brought a bunch of small tosai Showa to CFKS, which he priced at just $40 to move them out. They were undersized and therefore not kept to grow on. With his assistance, I picked out 4. One disappeared over the ensuing summer. One was male. One did not develop well enough for me to keep another year, but was certainly a bargain for the $40 I spent. She was re-homed. By Fall, one looked as if she was worth keeping another year, and by the time she was sansai she seemed worth taking up pond space. I still have her and she turned out to be quite a nice Showa... close to 26 inches and not growing anymore. And, not one to gain much girth, so she looks smaller than her actual length, but very nice pigment on a bright white ground. She has won 'best Showa' at CFKS and took a first in her size/variety last weekend. I like to call her my $40 Showa, and not count the other 3 purchased, and not mention that it was Mat's eye more than mine that picked her out. And, of course, not count the food the four consumed to get the point of deciding one was worth pond space for an indefinite time. I do not know the total investment made to get to the point of deciding she was worth pond space, but I am confident that Mat's 'mistake' was not as much of a mistake as it sounds when I call her my $40 Showa.

  9. #9
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    My gold ring is the shiro utsuri development picture in my signature. The breeder was marusho...from a $40 imported vat from a local dealer. The original importer was toyoma. It won sizes 1, 2 and 3 at the New england koi show. Also won best in variety a few times. It won in the WWKC show as well. When Art Lembke was handing me an award for that one, he nudged me an said nice shiro. Then, he smiled and said, "Don't screw it up". She is now about 7yrs old...and the shiro has turned yellowish. But, her conformation is excellent and her sumi is truly incredible. Really got my moneys worth with that one. The funny thing is I also had the male sibling of that koi. He was really spectacular, same great sumi. Then, decided to see if he could fly. It did not work out well for him.

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