A little break from our usual plants and gardening posts with a feature on our other hobby, which is still related to the garden, our favourite 'garden pets' Koi :)
Last Saturday we attended the 2011 Winter Koi Show, the only winter Koi show in the UK organised annually by the East Midlands Koi Club (EMKC).
|Koi painting, from one of the stands in the show|
Many garden owners and gardeners regard Koi as just those big, colourful pond fish which can be fun and relaxing to watch as they swim around, and if tame enough can be fed by hand. Or a nuisance altogether with their tendency to rip apart your precious waterlilies in their never ending quest for food, and their demand for often complicated filtration systems. With adequate pond size and filtration, you can keep these wonderful fish and leave it as they are, pond pets. But there's a large group of people who get so enamoured by them (us included) that they take them to the next level and become hobbyists. And the Koi industry is a thriving one, with a large following here and all over the world, and companies popping up and vying for every hobbyists attention.
As soon as you enter, you're greeted with the sight of vats and vats of Koi on show. Each vat is allocated to participating individuals and all of their Koi, irregardless of size are placed within their allocated vats. The judges will later on go through all of the vats to select the winners. This is the highlight of the event and is great fun looking at all of the beautiful Koi.
|The fish in each vat is individually photographed and measured prior to the show, categorised depending on the size and markings for judging purposes, and is posted on the board for ease of identification|