Country Koi show in Olmstead
Sep 06, 2011 (News-Democrat Leader – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) –
For the second consecutive year, the small community of Olmstead will be hosting a regional koi show.
Kenny Coleman’s farm will once again be the site for the second IKONA (Internet Koi of North America Show) which will bring many koi breeders and owners and their fish to Logan County.
Koi are ornamental varieties of domesticated common carp that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens.
Coleman began raising the fish over 25 years ago when he built his first garden pond. Then he began building ponds for friends and others and finally, eight years ago, he started his business, Country Koi Water Garden at 185 Olmstead Road.
Last year’s show had a good turnout, but Coleman is expecting even more this year.
“There are even more people registered to show their fish this year,” Coleman said. “We have people coming in from Florida, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois and Tennessee.”
The IKONA show was started by Steve Childers, a longtime friend of Coleman.
“He had been asking me for years to do a show here,” Coleman said. “Last year went really well, so we’re doing it again. Next year it will move to Michigan though.”
Coleman said his family has been working all week to prepare for the show, which will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On the first day, the fish will mostly arrive and be divided into categories.
The judging is done Saturday and on Sunday judges will be available to discuss why some fish were rated highly and others weren’t.
“The judges are really good about talking to people and explaining everything,” Coleman said.
Whether you already raise koi, want to learn more about them or just want to check them out, Coleman said to come on out. There will be many people who know a lot about koi and would be happy to answer questions.
Admission is free.
“This is an excellent time for beginners,” Coleman said. “Steve is probably the best designers in the states. He has just tremendous, tremendous knowledge in the design of farms and ponds.”
Koi can grow quite large. Grand champions are usually 27 to 28 inches long. Koi can also live for several years with the larger champions ranging in age from 4 to 12 years old.
Koi originated in Japan many years ago when rice farmers brought in black carp from China to put in their fields. The farmers noticed some of the carp had a little bit of color and they began to keep the prettier fish and breed them. Eventually, they became the colorful koi seen today.
Koi are still very popular in Japan where a show can draw over 4,000 fish. And many koi in America were bred in Japan. While Japan is known for breeding quality koi, Childers said American breeders have made great strides in recent years.
Coleman has thousands of koi on his Olmstead farm and has been breeding them for years. He is currently working on more selective breeding to create the highest quality koi he can.
In his own back yard are two garden ponds he created, one large with many koi and a smaller one with just a few of the fish. Coleman said he’s created around 200 ponds and water gardens in the years he’s been in business.
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News-Democrat Leader (Russellville, Ky.) at www.newsdemocratleader.com
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Copyright (C) 2011, News-Democrat Leader, Russellville, Ky.