Today was the final day for entries to be made to the 2016 All Japan Koi Show.
Masanori Shinoda of Shinoda Koi Farm is one of the team responsible for collating all entries and today reported on Facebook that over 1700 Koi have been entered.
Koi can only be entered into the show by Shinkokai members, in effect breeders and dealers. Some of the Koi they own themselves however the vast majority are owned by hobbyists. Before 2004, and the first confirmed outbreak of KHV in Japan, all Koi of the same size and variety class, irrespective of the owner or entry handler, would be placed in the same pool and judged side by side. In those days entry numbers of several thousands was the norm. In 2005 the ‘my pool’ system, or English style, was introduced, whereby all the Koi in a pool are from the same handler, be it a dealer or breeder.
The handler would have pre-booked a show pool, or pools, depending on what size and number of Koi they are taking. There are 2 parts to the entry fee, renting the pool, and then a fee per Koi placed in it. There are rules regarding what size pools are required for what size Koi, and also a maximum number of Koi that can be placed in each pool.
As you can see from the entry forms above, each has a photo of the Koi, along with details of the owner, handler, breeder, size class and variety class. The handler is 100% responsible for the accuracy of the variety and most importantly the size class entered. No further benching takes place as we know it in shows around the world where show staff measure and classify each entry. However, when the Koi arrive on the Thursday of the show a number will be picked out and spot checked for their size. Remeasured in front of the team of senior show officials, a few millimeters over the specified size class maximum means just one thing, instant disqualification.
With all the entries made on paper forms, the rather mammoth task of collating all that digitally will now begin in preparation for 2 weeks time, Thursday 28th January.
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When the handler arrives with their Koi on Thursday they will know exactly which pool each Koi is to be placed in, each pool has a sheet of paper with details of the Koi to be placed in it.
The sheet has a photo of the Koi, its entry number, size class and variety class. As with all shows the details of owner etc. are not published.
As well as the details being printed and placed on each pool, each judge has a binder detailing all of the Koi entered into the size and variety classes which they are judging.
Each team of judges has 2 helpers, they are responsible for guiding the judges around each show pool and collating the judges results. In years gone by this would have been another paper step however, a few years ago the system was upgraded and the helpers now have tablet computers with details of all the entries and the minute the judges make their awards they can be input and sent back to the show’s computer room.
Including all of the first places, second places and honourable mentions awarded by the judges, numbering many hundred in total, there is a massive amount of work to be done behind the scenes with the printing of certificates which need to be hung above the respective show pools by 8am Saturday morning when the show opens to the public.
The countdown to the 2016 All Japan Koi Show continues, if your Koi have been entered then good luck!