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Thread: pattern flaw demerits to avoid

  1. #1
    Tategoi Loco4Koi's Avatar
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    pattern flaw demerits to avoid

    Aside from conformation and/or deformation demerits, I want to know the primary things to watch out for. What pattern flaws automatically take a fish out of the running?These may not be the worst flaws for these types, but things that come to mind as examples are: black lines to the tip in showa pecs, black on face of sanke, shimi on kohaku.... How bad are the ones I've mentioned, and what else would a person look to avoid when buyin tosai or nisai with hopes of it being a future show winner.... specifically, I'd like to know what to avoid,, not what to look for.Thanks

  2. #2
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    I would tell you not to worry too much about sumi on the head of a sanke. As long as it enhances and fits the overall pattern, it is rarely a demerit. I have a few nichirin mags with all japan show pics. So many of the sanke had sumi on the heads. I discussed this with a judge years ago...not a big issue if it enhances the overall look.
    No beni on the tail or doral fin. My big pet peeve is a window in a beni pattern. It is just never attractive.
    Shimmi on kohaku...do your best. Sometimes, they just show up. Sometimes the mineral content of the water can cause them (I suspect iron.). But, genetics can also play a role.
    I also usually avoid a menkaburi head pattern. Too much beni on the head is simply not elegant...I usually avoid them.


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

  3. #3
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    You've asked two questions. What will mark a koi down; and what will 'take it out of the running'? There isn't much that can knock out a koi altogether. Even a shimmy or two may be forgiven on the day based on the competition. Perhaps some judges will be brave enough to post some comments. Before I comment, I want to be clear that my thoughts are my own and should not be taken as reflecting anything more than that.

    Ask judges and you will be told repeatedly that pattern is the last thing weighed in judging, that it is a 'tie-breaker' considered when evaluation of everything else has resulted in no clear winner. Personally, I do not think that is quite accurate in practice. It may be the conscious intent, but pattern can have subtle impact on the evaluation of other factors. And, in the smaller sizes pattern does get weighed because other factors are not as developed for drawing distinctions among competitors. There is no magic line between the sizes where it can be said that pattern is a real factor. It's not a matter of pattern being a real factor in size 3, but just a tie-breaker in size 4. It is a blurred weighting that decreases as the koi grows and matures, allowing other factors to make the major distinctions.

    Menkaburi is an interesting pattern flaw to consider. In small sizes a red hooded Kohaku is going to be initially considered of very low rank. It has little hope unless close evaluation of the others reveals serious problems, like a missing barbel. Menkaburi can also affect the perception of quality and refinement. It is an old trait associated with the earliest koi that became known as Kohaku. It is so distant from a refined step pattern that it can affect how one sees other traits. Even in large koi you will not see a menkaburi prevail in a competitive show. But, the 'partial menkaburi' or 'nearly menkaburi' has a much better chance in the large sizes if overall quality places the fish among the very best. It seems to me that this is particularly true of Showa and to a degree Sanke. With them, sumi quality takes on importance and allows a pattern flaw to be more readily overlooked. Still, if you acquire a menkaburi Showa, no matter how good she may be, the judges will be looking for all three colors on her head. When they do not see all three, they are going to be focusing on the others in the competition. Is the overall quality of your menkaburi Showa so strong that it will draw them back to rank her best on the day? That's tough to predict with buying her as nisai to show 3 or 4 years later.

    ...with apologies to all judges for any criticism that may seem to be implied in these personal comments.

  4. #4
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    In the 1960's which was early in the organized koi hobby it was learned that emphasis on the negatives leads to moving what can be a mediocre koi with fewer demerits over a much more accomplished higher quality koi that has several more demerits. Since you ask specifically about pattern consider the following pattern examples. Which should be ranked over the other?

    #1 a one step kokaku with a pattern that is balanced, begins on the head and stops just before the tail joint without any significant pattern demerits.

    #2 a four step kokaku with a pattern that is balanced, touches the nose and covers one eye and continues into several of fins including the tail.

    ps. shimmies are color quality demerits not pattern demerits. Pattern is the random uncontrollable (other than culling) patches of color that appear in different locations.
    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.

  5. #5
    Tategoi powerman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayJordan View Post
    In the 1960's which was early in the organized koi hobby it was learned that emphasis on the negatives leads to moving what can be a mediocre koi with fewer demerits over a much more accomplished higher quality koi that has several more demerits. Since you ask specifically about pattern consider the following pattern examples. Which should be ranked over the other?

    #1 a one step kokaku with a pattern that is balanced, begins on the head and stops just before the tail joint without any significant pattern demerits.

    #2 a four step kokaku with a pattern that is balanced, touches the nose and covers one eye and continues into several of fins including the tail.

    ps. shimmies are color quality demerits not pattern demerits. Pattern is the random uncontrollable (other than culling) patches of color that appear in different locations.
    I'll bite. As a judge you will rank the four step over the single pattern koi because of the complexity of pattern putting it in a whole different class. Even with those demerits, color continuing into the fins and covering one eye, the koi won't be considered with a single step patterned koi. This is recognizing the additional years of effort it took to breed a stepped dorsal pattern and it is more refined than a single step pattern. But for me enjoying my koi I would have to see the two koi to decide which I liked better and it may well be the four step but it is possible that the color over the eye might be distracting enough to me that I might prefer the other koi even if it wouldn't win at the show.

  6. #6
    Tategoi Loco4Koi's Avatar
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    I'm liking this... I know me and you have duscussed this in person,,, I just can't seem to get enough opinions... I always want more.

    As for personal taste.... are there any so called faults and/or pattern types that you, as an induvidual person, always avoid?
    This question is for everyone...not just Ray

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