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2010 Koi Show Judge

Name: Ron Goforth






Name: Peter Ponzio



            Ron was born in Houston, Texas, one of those rare native Houstonians who grew up in the area. Always fascinated with life sciences, he developed an early interest in keeping fish in tanks as a boy.  This interest grew further when he met a neighbor, Mr. Okabayashi, the Japanese gardener brought in to Houston to develop the gardens of a prominent Houston family. Ron observed and had his first lessons in Zen gardening and in the areas of koi-keeping, pond culture, ikebana, and bonsai.  These interests have continued throughout his life, as he received a Biology degree from Sam Houston State University, with special interests in ichthyology and pre-med, as well as a Nursing degree from San Jacinto College. 

            After returning to the Houston area, Ron began the Houston Japan Festival, which has since grown into the city’s annual International Festival, founded both the Lone Star Koi Club and the Moto-Kara Koikai ZNA Chapter. His love of koi-keeping has culminated in his relationship with Minoru Mano-san, before his death, and with the Mano family, owners and operators of Dainichi Koi; Shigeru Mano lived and studied English with the Goforths for a number of years and is an adopted member of the Goforth family.

            Ron has served as ZNA District Chairman for sixteen years, held the ZNA positions of Local Certified Judge, Assistant and Full-Certified Judge and was the first non-Japanese to hold the honor Certified Judge in ZNA enabling him to judge shows all over the world, including the All-Japan Show.  He lives in Friendswood, Texas, with his wife Nancy and his mother, and a great many koi.  


2010 Goldfish Show Judge

Peter has been raising goldfish for over forty years, when fancy goldfish were more difficult to acquire than they are today.  His first “fancy” goldfish was an Oranda, and they are still his favorite variety.  Peter’s experience with koi began over twenty years ago, when he purchased two koi to put in his goldfish pond.  The koi quickly outgrew the pond, which began a lifelong series of new pond additions and improvements.  His favorite koi variety is the Showa.

Peter is a member of the Northern Midwest ZNA club, the Midwest Pond & Koi Society club, and the Mid-Atlantic Koi Club.  Peter is one of the founding members of the American Goldfish Association (AGA), and publishes their bi-monthly newsletter.  Peter has helped write the U.S. goldfish standards in 1996, with a revision in 2009. The AGA site can be visited at www.americangoldfish.org.  He is a certified goldfish judge, and author of Spike’s Goldfish Guide, which was published by the MAKC.  He is also an AKCA certified judge and has written the standard for judging Longfin koi in conjunction with Larry Christensen, Joe Pawlak, Myron Kloubec, and Joel Burkard.  Peter has judged forty-six goldfish and koi shows in the sixteen years that he has been judging.

When not judging goldfish or koi, Peter writes novels, stories and poems, and teaches English at McHenry Community College.  Prior to teaching, Peter was a financial executive at a Fortune 500 firm.