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Thread: "Windows" and Koi Appreciation

  1. #11
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Ray . . .

    thank you for your response. It's always nice to have someone as distinguished as you weigh in. And an interesting response it was, too.

    Now, when you said:
    Quote Originally Posted by RayJordan
    Many have critisized the recent AJS - Grand Champion for it's head pattern covering one eye. Obviously this was not a problem/demerit vs the overall size/quality of that koi in the opinion of the majority of the shinkokai judges.
    Would you please clarify whether you meant that the GC's primitive pattern, even though it wasn't a problem, still constitutes a technical pattern demerit? In other words, would that pattern be considered a demerit on a lesser koi and would it cause a problem?

  2. #12
    Jumbo Regenmeneer's Avatar
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    Don,

    Maybe you should look at it from another angle, ie that the mask is not a demerrit, but it would have been more pleasing to the eye to have a maruten pattern centered between the eyes.

    Regenmeneer

  3. #13
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    I know what you mean . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Regenmeneer
    Don,
    Maybe you should look at it from another angle, ie that the mask is not a demerit, but it would have been more pleasing to the eye to have a maruten pattern centered between the eyes. Regenmeneer
    but, actually, what I'd like to hear (from Ray, or from someone else with judging experience) is whether or not that GC's primitive pattern is or is not considered a technical pattern demerit. No one, so far, has done more than say that it wasn't a problem and it didn't hurt the GC -- but that is not the same thing.

    If one's reaction to its pattern is only a matter or "being pleasing" or of "personal preference" then that's one thing. If it is a technical demerit and it would be harmful on a lesser koi then that is another thing. And, finally, if it is a technical demerit but not harmful at the GC level, well then that's an entirely different lesson all together.
    Don Chandler
    Member: AKCA, ZNA, KoiUSA

  4. #14
    Nisai xiaohuang7's Avatar
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    someone with ZNA connections ask for an anon release of the score cards, and that the end of the mystery.

  5. #15
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    1st of all I am speaking for myself not AKCA or any of the other koi judge training programs.

    I believe the AJS Grand Champion won based on it's overall impression and the sum of it's considerable merits which were tremendous size, body shape, and impressive beni quality. It is a western concept to start listing weaknesses/demerits. No koi will ever be perfect. No koi has or will ever likely be an unamamous choice in any AJS show with the number of huge high quality koi competing.

    Also please realize that while we might be discussing this selection as a koi "judging" or "appreciation" exercise others especially the owners, their supporters, the breeder, dealer, and others have a investment in this koi (not just money) and could feel cheated of some of their deserved satisfaction from discussions like this if not respectful in intention. I would ask that we be aware of this. I congratulate everyone involved with this years GC and it's well deserved award.

    Demerits are merely weaknesses and very rarely determine rankings at the top levels of competition. Do not confuse demerits with defects. Defects are more serious and usually something missing or deformed like a eye, or a fin/fin ray bent back/tail, etc.

    I accept/understand the judges decison made at the show. These guys are professionals and the majority of them were born into the koi profession. The Grand Champion earned the majority of the judges votes - but it wasn't unanamous. Personally, after seeing these koi in person, I would have voted for the Reserve Champion because I felt that although she was slightly smaller she was a little more refined and beautiful to my western judge trainee eyes. That doesn't mean I do not think the GC was worthy because she most certainly was deserving.

    Judging smaller koi is a much different paradym. To understand how important pattern is in smaller koi look at Baby Grand Champion photos at major shows. Smaller koi do not have the attibutes found in high quality larger koi so pattern is a major part of ranking smaller koi along with conformation, color, and overall impression.

    If I had the resources necessary to buy koi to be competitive for GC at the All Japan Show I would be wise to consider the majority of Japanese judges preferences. and select a kohaku that would grow to over 90cm, have near perfect body shape, highest quality beni and shiroji and if possible with as refined and pleasing pattern as I could find.

  6. #16
    Sansai
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    Doesn't it come down to body conformation and health?

  7. #17
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Ray . . .

    thank you for that knowledgeable and diplomatic response. Not having completely thought through some implications from my prior line of questioning, I stand corrected.

    So, OK, let's forget that stunning GC (whose achievement we all applaud) and focus our discussion instead on this koi. Below is a 19" female nisai (available from a quality CA dealer).

    1. Is not this menkaburi pattern considered primitive?
    2. Are not primitive patterns penalized as compared to more refined and evolved patterns when judging gosanke this size.

    With your feedback maybe we can improve our pattern judging skills.

  8. #18
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Don, while waiting for Ray, note that the subject fish not only has a facial pattern divided down the middle which would have been considered a negative under traditional pattern concepts of 1970s &'80's, but also count the number of steps, the evenness of separation of the steps, the presence of Odome (albeit a bit narrow).... balancing some real positives under the traditional concepts.

    Now that there ia a GC with a similar facial pattern, does such a pattern become acceptable in smaller sized koi? Recall that any Hi in a pectoral fin was considered terrible, but after an excellent koi won GC despite that trait, it became the norm to say that a little Hi at the base of a pec is "nothing". IMO, all matters relating to pattern are a combination of tradition, the fad of the day and personal perspectives of beauty. ...I'm starting to like the ying-yang of red and white on the head, but your subject fish seems to have a red eye on the red half of the head, and I just don't like red eyes no matter what!

  9. #19
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Pattern judging skills are the simplest and except for smaller koi where pattern is relatively more important the least important skill in evaluating koi. I do not critique koi on a message board or from photos unless they are my own personal koi.

    Again this is Ray Jordan speaking only for myself. I believe Pattern "rules" are made to be broken by a special real live koi whose merits render it's pattern "not a problem" Perhaps you have seen a photo of "Diamond Mask" a famous kohaku that won the AJS with two red eyes? Actually, lots of koi have won AJS with one or both eyes "red." When I look at a koi I try to view it as a complete work of art. If there is something like a window right up on the shoulder that is really a distraction for me that is a element in my rankings.

    I do not mean to imply that pattern is not important but just the least important element in ranking larger koi at a show. It is the sum of the merits with the relative weightings starting with conformation, size, skin, color, and last pattern that give the overall impression that ranks a larger koi. I peraonlly would not buy a koi that had an unpleasing pattern to me just because I thought it would be huge and from famous breeder and might win a big prize at a show sometime in the future.

    Other judges can and do have different feelings about certain pattern rules/requirements when ranking koi. That is why the AKCA judging with all judges participating in a discussion when the competition is close has a lot of merit. (Head judge still can overrule but at least other judges opinions are considered) By the way in Shinkokai Shows each judge gets to vote as well rather than having the head judge make all decisions without any input.

    So my reccomendation would be to give less weighting to pattern in koi that you plan to show at larger sizes but the other elements need to be very strong if the pattern is less appealing overall. If you want to win baby champion be very critical of pattern as it will carry much more weighting.

    All this said, I reccomend that hobbyists to think twice before buying a koi with a pattern that does not appeal to them personally. After all most koi are enjoyed in our ponds for 99.9% of the time we own them and at a koi show for only a few days.

  10. #20
    Daihonmei aquitori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoiCop
    thank you for that knowledgeable and diplomatic response. Not having completely thought through some implications from my prior line of questioning, I stand corrected.

    So, OK, let's forget that stunning GC (whose achievement we all applaud) and focus our discussion instead on this koi. Below is a 19" female nisai (available from a quality CA dealer).

    1. Is not this menkaburi pattern considered primitive?
    2. Are not primitive patterns penalized as compared to more refined and evolved patterns when judging gosanke this size.

    With your feedback maybe we can improve our pattern judging skills.
    Let's look at this Kohak....Weak tail joint, deep shashi and pattern is better than the GC All-Japan...But if we see this pattern on the GC body...then I see this fish winning.

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