The Jousting Life

Friday, January 30, 2015

Christmas Tournament in Khrabrovo 2015

Editorial note:  The Christmas Tournament in Khrabrovo, Mozhaisk, Russia is a private(not open to the public), high historical joust.  Many thanks to Dmitry Savchenko for sharing the details of the tournament with The Jousting Life (both this year and last year) and to Eugenia Komarova and Andrew Boykov for sharing their beautiful photographs of the event.

Written by Dmitry Savchenko

The fifth annual Christmas Tournament was held 5 - 7 January 2015, in Khrabrovo, near Mozhaisk in the Moscow Region of Russia. This Tournament has already become a traditional event. There, in a circle of friends, in a festive atmosphere, we open the Russian tournament season. Furthermore, a large winter event allows jousters to maintain their shape and skills as horsemen as well as a field team. Since last year, the tournament participants are jousting with lances, fighting in mounted melee and on foot, with long swords and poleaxes.


Sergey Zhuravlev(left) and Yuri Bogunov(right) joust during the Christmas Tournament at Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Andrew Boykov)

This year, the Christmas Tournament had a record number of participants: it was attended by forty participants, of whom seven fought on foot and eight were horsemen. The horsemen were subdivided into Knights and Squires. Knights joust with lances, while a squire’s level of training and armor does not yet allow them to joust. So for the present, the squires train, eager to achieve results, and they fight in mounted melee with swords, compete in mounted skill-at-arms and also fight on foot.


Left to right: Yuri Bogunov, Dmitry Savchenko, Viktor Ruchkin and Sergey Zhuravlev during the mounted melee at the Christmas Tournament at Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Andrew Boykov)

Tournament competitions were held over two days, and Saturday evening, January 6, was marked by a grand celebratory feast. During the feast, we completely re-created the ceremonies of a medieval feast – from hand washing and strict order of serving dishes to the feast servers' service under control of the Feast Steward. Cultural activities during the feast included medieval music played by the "Sсhellen" ensemble, the medieval theater play Orpheus and Eurydice and various fun games, like “Jesting Jousting”.


Julia Davidoskaya serves the meat during the feast held at the
Christmas Tournament at Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Eugenia Komarova)

It should be mentioned that this year the Tournament was held in hard weather conditions. During the night from 5 to 6 January, air temperature dropped to -26 °C, in the morning it was -24 °C and by noon the air warmed up to -21 °C. During January 7 – old calendar[orthodox] Christmas – the temperature stayed at -20 °C. It was a clear and calm beautiful winter day. Fortunately, all the participants of the tournament were equipped with appropriate winter suits. However, for the sake of the horses' health, we reduced the usual tournament time at the expense of some ceremonial moments. Nevertheless the tournament competitions were carried out in full.

The Winners of the Christmas Tournament 2015:
First, among the knights - Yuri Bogunov


Yuri Bogunov, Winner of the knights competition during the 
Christmas Tournament in Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Eugenia Komarova)

First, among the squires - Yuri Galilov


Yuri Galilov(left), Winner of the squires competition, fights Yuri Bogunov(right) during the
Christmas Tournament in Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Eugenia Komarova)

Ladies Court Prize - Victor Ruchkin


Viktor Ruchkin, Winner of the Ladies Court prize during the
Christmas Tournament in Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Andrew Boykov)

Tournament Scores Table:
by Head Marshal Sergey Vislenev and Judges Rafael Gukasov and Alexander Kolyaskin


Left to right: Rafael Gukasov, Sergey Vislenev and Alexander Kolyaskin, judges during the
Christmas Tournament in Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Eugenia Komarova)

Knights Jousting:
(l.b. – lance(s) broken)
1st match: Dmitry Savchenko vs Yuri Bogunov(winner) (1 l.b. – 2 l.b.)
2nd match: Sergey Zhuravlev (winner) vs Victor Ruchkin (2 l.b. – none)
3rd match: Yuri Bogunov(winner) vs Sergey Zhuravlev (2 l.b. – 1 l.b.)
4th match: Dmitry Savchenko (winner) vs Victor Ruchkin (2 l.b. – 1 l.b.)
Total Scores:
1. Yuri Bogunov 4 points for 4 l.b. + 3 points for 1 place = total 7 points, the Winner of the Jousting
2. Sergey Zhuravlev 3 points for 3 l.b. + 2 points for 2 place = total 5 points
3. Dmitry Savchenko 3 points for 3 l.b. + 1 point for 3 place = total 4 points
4. Victor Ruchkin 1 points for 1 l.b. = total 1 point


Yuri Bogunov(Winner of the Jousting) and Sergey Zhuravlev joust during the
Christmas Tournament in Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Andrew Boykov)

Knights Mounted Melee:
Absolute Winner - Dmitry Savchenko, 3 points


Dmitry Savchenko(Winner of the Mounted Melee) and his wife Marina Savchenko at the Christmas Tournament at Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Andrew Boykov)

Foot Combat:
1st match: Dmitry Savchenko – Konstantine Klang 2:5
2nd match: Yuri Bogunov - Yuri Galilov 5:1
3rd match: Victor Ruchkin - Sergey Zhuravlev 3:5
4th match: Victor Ruchkin - Dmitry Savchenko 0:5 (last fight for semifinal)
5th match: Yuri Bogunov – Konstantine Klang 5:3 (semifinal)
6th match: Dmitry Savchenko - Sergey Zhuravlev 4:5 (semifinal)
7th match: Yuri Bogunov - Sergey Zhuravlev 3:5 (final)
8th match: Dmitry Savchenko – Konstantine Klang 5:2 (3rd place fight)
Total Scores:
1. Sergey Zhuravlev – the Winner in Foot Combat – 3 points for 1 place
2. Yuri Bogunov – 2 points for 2 place
3. Dmitry Savchenko – 1 point for 3 place


Sergey Zhuravlev, Winner of the Foot Combat during the
Christmas Tournament at Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Eugenia Komarova)

Overall Scores in the Knight’s Tournament:
First place - Yuri Bogunov with 9 points


Yuri Bogunov, Champion of the Christmas Tournament at Khrabrovo 2015
(photo by Andrew Boykov)

Second place - Dmitry Savchenko and Sergey Zhuravlev tied with 8 points each

More photographs from the event:


L to R: Yuri Bogunov, Sergey Zhuravlev, Sergey Vislenev(Head Marshal), Dmitry Savchenko and Viktor Ruchkin at the Christmas Tournament at Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Eugenia Komarova)


Left: Yuri Bogonov jousts Dmitry Savchenko
Right: Dmitry Savchenko carries his broken lance to the end of the tilt
Christmas Tournament at Khrabrovo 2015 (photos by Eugenia Komarova)


Sergey Zhuravlev, Christmas Tournament at Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Andrew Boykov)


Left: Sergey Zhuravlev fights Yuri Bogunov (photos by Andrew Boykov)
Right: Dmitry Savchenko fights Constantine Klang (photos by Andrew Boykov)


Yuri Galilov, Constantine Klang, Dmitry Savchenko, Sergey Vislenev, Viktor Ruchkin, Rafael Gukasov, Yuri Bogunov and Sergey Zhuravlev at the Christmas Tournament in Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Andrew Boykov)


Members of the Ladies Court L to R: Marina Savchenko, Daria Ryzhov, Maria Tarasova, Margarita Zolotaryova, Ksenia Galilova and Elizaveta Rylova(not shown) at the Christmas Tournament in Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Andrew Boykov)


The Feast at the Christmas Tournament in Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Andrew Boykov)


A chicken knight riding a suckling pig mount at the feast of the Christmas Tournament in Khrabrovo 2015 (photos by Eugenia Komarova)


Hand washing during the Feast of the Christmas Tournament in Khrabrovo 2015
(photo by Andrew Boykov)


Dmitry Savchenko(standing) speaks to the participants at the Feast of the
Christmas Tournament in Khrabrovo 2015 (photo by Andrew Boykov)

Related articles:
Christmas Tournament at Khrabrovo 2014

Jousting at Zhelezny Grad

Jousting Tournament To Be Held during Железный Град (Iron City Festival) in Russia

Monday, January 26, 2015

Promo Video for a New Jousting Tournament to be Held in France

On September 5th & 6th, 2015, Les Ecuyers de l'Histoire will host the Tournament of the Order of St Michael at the Château du Plessis-Bourré in France. They have already released this promotional video for the tournament.




Related articles:
Promotional Video for St. Hallvard's Jousting Tournament

Promotional Video for St Ives Medieval Faire & Tournament

Another Short Promo Video for the "Times & Epochs" Historical Festival in Russia

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Jousting Life is Interviewed for an Article about 'Jousting in the 21st Century'

Editorial note: I must admit that I do feel a little odd talking about myself so much in this article. I generally try to avoid inserting myself or my opinions into the articles that I write for The Jousting Life. However, in this case, I think it is relevant.

As the creator of The Jousting Life, I was interviewed for an article recently published by the news website Ozy.com. Although I was slightly misquoted, I am still very happy to see a professional journalist reporting on the growing popularity of the sport of contemporary competitive jousting. Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the article:

Jousting in the 21st Century
by Zara Stone


Jousting (photo by LevonBliss/Getty)
"It is a scene ideally suited for Medieval times. A dark knight adjusts his visor, raises his lance and focuses, laserlike, on his opponent, the “white” knight, sitting astride his mount. The flag goes down and they charge, lances straight, bodies tensing against the weight of their custom-fit armor — often 200 pounds of solid steel. The bout, though, isn’t old; it’s happening at the Scottish Highland Games & Celtic Music Festival in Mississippi in November. And lest anyone forget that we are in modern commercial times, Guinness (one of the festivals sponsors) has its logo on both knights’ armor.

Looking for a new form of entertainment, or considering the next crazy physical challenge? Jousting is growing in popularity in the U.S., both at Renaissance fairs and formal tournaments."
To read the rest of the article, follow this link.

Here is the section of the article based on Zara Stone's phone interview with me:
"Zhi Zhu, an Austin-based jousting supporter and chronicler of the sport, has been documenting the sport on The Jousting Life since 2012. Some of her friends jousted and she discovered there was no online compendium that covered “everything” — many troupes reported on their successes, but she wanted a larger overview of the sport. “I wanted to talk about contemporary competitive jousting, as opposed to choreographed jousting at Renaissance fairs,” she says. She’s noticed a sharp rise in the number of tournaments over the last few years. Zhu gets a thrill from watching it, “when you catch them going tip to tip and breaking their lances. It’s the skill and the athleticism I really enjoy.”

Zhu hopes that jousting can become part of American life, similar to how mixed martial arts (MMA) was adopted. “I could see this being part of equestrian events, like dressage,” she says. “Historically a rich noble held jousts, and the equivalent today would be a venture capitalist holding one and putting money in it.”
The journalist actually got most of what I said correct, though there were some minor inaccuracies. Based on what I have heard from jousters complaining about being horribly misquoted by professional journalists, Zara Stone did a good job of not seriously misrepresenting anything that I said. She did leave out that I stated how much respect I have for the skill of those who do choreographed jousting shows, but that they were already being reported on as entertainment in blogs and websites about renaissance faires. I wanted to report on and promote competitive jousting as a sport.

And I did not say that I noticed a sharp rise in the number of tournaments.  I said that a few more tournaments were added each year.

In the quote “When you catch them going tip to tip and breaking their lances. It’s the skill and the athleticism I really enjoy," she took two separate phrases out of context and combined them. "When you catch them going tip to tip and breaking their lances," was from a discussion of photographing jousting and how exciting it was to get a good shot.


Jousters Sarah Hay(left) and Stacy Wasson(right) strike their lances tip to tip and break them during the Grand Tournament of St Charles 2013. Tip to tip hits happen more often than you would think(though they are not exactly common), but catching one in a decent(if a bit blurry) photograph is still exciting. (photo by Zhi Zhu/The Jousting Life)


Another exciting shot that I caught of a double unhorsing with jousters Eddie Rigney(left) and James Johnson(right) during the Sherwood Forest Faire Jousting Tournament 2014.
(photo by Zhi Zhu/The Jousting Life)

The quote "It's the skill and the athleticism I really enjoy." was from a discussion about mounted melees, which I personally enjoy watching more than the tilting/actual jousting part of a tournament.

As for the rest of the interview, she got that right. I do hope to see jousting tournaments added to other equestrian events, such as dressage shows. (I think those who practice dressage could definitely benefit from watching some of the best riders in the jousting world doing mounted melee.)  I also believe that it would greatly help the sport of jousting to have a few rich individuals(or wealthy corporations) put some serious money into creating professional jousting teams (like football teams) and holding a series of tournaments where those teams compete.

But overall, it is a very nice article about the sport of jousting, and I am flattered to have been included in it.

Related articles:
An Interview with Arne Koets, Jouster and Organizer of the Grand Tournament at Schaffhausen

An Interview with Toby Capwell, Champion of Tournament of the Phoenix 2014

An Interview with Andreas Wenzel, Chairman of the Destrier Jousting Troupe