The Newmarket Koi Group

Our group is formed mostly of people who eventually became the UK Koi Policy Unit (UKKPU). In 2004 the then impending Animal Welfare Act was upon us. The lead name to DEFRA for anything koi related since 1990 is Dr. Paula Reynolds. She talked them into having a hobbyist on the committee that was to be formed to produce the new act. So another group member was inducted into the legislation process to represent UK Koi Keepers. This act was finally made law in 2006.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) later contacted these people asking for information on the storage and transportation of carp (Koi). As we were just a collection of like-minded people we suddenly had to have a name. Hence the UKKPU was born. A presentation was produced and one of our members went to Parma Italy to present it to this organisation. It will help to form a tiny part of impending European Transportation Regulations due in 2013/4.

Whilst all this was going on it became obvious that there was a lack of knowledge and education within the koi world. Various events were put on around the UK but only for club/organisations members and then again only very rarely and not in depth. Some of the people above already are also interested in judging and decided to put on a koi appreciation seminar.

The buzzword for this was ‘Appreciation not Assassination’ and this has now expanded to include other subjects. The most recent being ‘Water Quality’, a subject that a lot of people find very hard to understand, let alone claim to be interested in, but it is the most important subject of all. Any presentation put on by the group works on the principal of plain and easy education. Questions are asked at the time the person thinks of them. If a point is not understood then it is repeated and clarified until it is understood before moving on. This is why people return year after year.

The format for any weekend is the same. There are 3 different talks on the Saturday; the Sunday is dedicated to a judging evaluation and exercise. During the last few years this has been an outdoor exercise, but from now on it will be inside in the warm looking at slides.

We are also finding that hobbyists are happy to give up one weekend a year, especially in the winter and have the other 51 weekends free for other things. Of course, if your other half is not interested in koi then the shopping in Cambridge, horses in Newmarket or the dinner dance may appeal.