Matt Daniel(Photo by CVS) Ryan Saathoff on Ziggy(Photo by Jay Baum) Steve Hemphill jousts Sean Gullick(photo by A Jousters Wife) Dustin Stephens on Sampson(Photo by Jay Baum) Federico Serna takes a hit(Photo by AzulOx)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Promotional Video for St Ives Medieval Faire & Tournament

The St Ives Medieval Faire will take place September 20 - 21 in St Ives, Sydney, Australia. There will be a historical village, a traditional archery range and a birds of prey display, but, of course, the most important feature for those of us interested in jousting will the jousting tournament.

Promo video for St Ives Medieval Faire(video by Andrew McKinnon)

The tournament is based on the idea that the olde world jousters(those from Europe) will be challenging the new world jousters(those from Australia). In addition to the jousting(with shaped solid lances such as those used in Sankt Wendel), there will also be a mounted melee. The jousters involved will be:

From the olde world:
Petter Ellingsen from Norway
Arne Koets from the Netherlands
Bertus Brokamp from the Netherlands

From the new world:
Rod Walker
Luke Binks
Andrew McKinnon
Phillip Leitch

For more information about the tournament, check out the St Ives Medieval Faire website and Facebook page.

Andreas Wenzel jousts Petter Ellingsen with shaped solid lances
(photo by Ben van Koert/Kaos Historical Media)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Video: Dr. Noel Fallows Talks About Chivalry and Jousting

Dr. Noel Fallows is an Associate Dean of International and Multidisciplinary Programs in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia. Within the jousting community, Dr. Fallows is best known for his book Jousting in Medieval and Renaissance Iberia, for which he was awarded the University of Georgia’s Creative Research Medal.
"Only sparingly given, the medal is awarded by the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc., to faculty as recognition of outstanding accomplishment in research and creativity for a research project or creative activity with a single coherent theme." -- Camden House News
The following video was created by Bill Evelyn, a video producer for the University of Georgia, as part of a program to honor Dr. Fallows.

If some of the video looks familiar, it's because it's from "The Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel", a historical jousting tournament which took place in the fall of 2012. (You can read more about it in a number of previous articles on The Jousting Life.) According to an interview with Dr. Fallows, such attempts to recreate historically accurate tournaments as well as other forms of re-enactment can benefit the academic community.
"I am not a re-enactor myself, but I do believe that historically accurate re-enactments can provide plausible answers to some of the questions that arise about how armour actually worked. In turn I also hope that my book will be of practical use to the re-enactment communities that strive for historical accuracy." -- Dr. Noel Fallows
The complete interview is published on the Boydell & Brewer website. Boydell & Brewer are the publishers of Jousting in Medieval and Renaissance Iberia as well as a number of other books that jousters, re-enactors and others with an interest in history might enjoy.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Jousters 'Do Something Noble' to Help Goodwill Industries

A number of jousters and those associated with jousting donated their time, horses and equipment to help make a commercial called "Do Something Noble" for Goodwill Industries International, a non-profit agency that "works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work."(quote from Goodwill website)

There are two versions of the commercial, the long version:

Do Something Noble, extended version (video by Goodwill Central Texas)

and the short version:

Do Something Noble, short version (video by Goodwill Central Texas)

The jousters involved in the commercial included Jeffrey Basham riding his quarterhorse mare Pooh Bear, Sean Gullick riding his Missouri Foxtrotter gelding Red, Steve Hemphill riding his Friesian/Percheron cross mare Tinkerbell and Dave Wise riding his Percheron cross mare Ladybug. Dawn Hemphill and Jen Jobst who frequently act as ground crew for jousting tournaments also rode horses in the video. Dawn rode her quarterhorse gelding Moose and Jen sometimes rode Red and sometimes her Haflinger gelding Paddington(there was some switching around of horses for various shots).

The King, who was portrayed by Keith Ewing who neither jousts nor rides, rode Jen's horse Paddington. The boy featured in the commercial was Keith's son, who rode Steve's quarterhorse gelding Lucky. Members of the Barony of Bryn Gwlad(a regional group of the Society for Creative Anachronism) portrayed the townspeople. On a more personal note, my husband, who is also a jouster, helped out behind the scenes while they were filming the parts of the commercial set in the medieval town.

You can read more about the making of the commercial and see photos from the set in the post on Jen's blog titled, "In which Paddy makes his acting debut and Red plays a stunt double".

Experienced jousting horse Red(aka Feerless War Pony) is not bothered by having a cameraman(who doesn't know how to ride) with a steadicam attached to him on his back.
(photo by jenj)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Joust For Fun: Unusual Things to Do in Armour

A photo album was recently started on The Jousting Life Facebook page featuring pictures of "Unusual Things to Do in Armour". Rod Walker of Full Tilt Jousting(who you might remember from the tv show "Full Metal Jousting") thought that this video fit the theme of the album nicely. However, since it is difficult to include a video in a photo album, it is being posted here.

Jouster Rod Walker is featured in an unusual ad(video by Alinta Energy)

The knight in the video is played by Rod Walker for most of the scenes, though in a few scenes of cantering down the street a lighter weight girl named Jacinta is riding in Rod's armour to make it easier for the horse. Two horses were actually used in the making of the commercial, neither of which belonged to Rod.

If you would like to see the photo album "Unusual Things to Do in Armour" as well as other pictures and links relating to jousting, check out The Jousting Life Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Sherwood Joust 2014: After Words

After the Sherwood Forest Faire competitive jousting tournament(which was held the last weekend of the faire), I asked several of the jousters what they would like to say about the tournament. Here are their replies:

David Schade is the leader of the New Riders of the Golden Age, the jousting troupe who hosted the tournament:
"Over the years I had developed my skill set with the horses and the guys. I was aware of other teams and competitions between them, but I was happy with my little corner of the world and never really worried about them. Fast forward to 2013 at the Sherwood Forest Faire, and I received my first taste competing in a tourney. And in 2014, I found myself getting ready to compete again. Charlie Andrews and the Knights of Mayhem were among some of the competitors. Charlie's reputation as a competitor was well known. Having an opportunity to ride against him certainly piqued my interest. Who knew what was about to happen?

"My matches with Charlie were easily some of the best of my career. There are a handful of guys with that kind of skill. It was amazing, and I loved it. The guys he brought with him were skilled too and a lot of fun to ride against. Winning was a good feeling, but those matches with Charlie could have easily gone the other way. It was just that close. I appreciated the opportunity to ride against those guys. It was great." -- David Schade

David Schade(left) and Charlie Andrews(right) shake hands as they pass each other in the tilt on the way back to their 'home' side(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

Charlie Andrews is the leader of the Knights of Mayhem, who provided additional jousters and horses for the tournament:
“New Riders of the Golden Age are the Real Deal. It was an Honor to Joust with them!! David W Schade is a bad ass, nothing but respect my friend. Great Jouster and even better person.... Look forward to seeing you in the Lysts again!!! Silas was an unbelievable Marshall, he is hands down one of the best I've seen!! Ryan was a stud to Joust with!! The ground crew was outstanding!! Thank you all for making us feel welcomed and for an amazing Joust!!!” -- Charlie Andrews

Charlie Andrews(left) and David Schade(right) hold aloft the remains of their lances after a successful jousting pass(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

Eddie "The Hitman" Rigney is a member of the Knights of Valour:
"The Sherwood tournament was great. Hats off to David Schade and his whole crew, both the jousters and the ground crew. I made some wonderful friends." -- Eddie Rigney

Eddie Rigney(left) breaks his lance against Ryan Scammon(right)(photo by The Jousting Life)

Joshua Warren is a member of the Knights of Mayhem:
"I would like to say that the New Riders of the Golden Age handled themselves with grace and a chivalry. It was an honor and a privilege to tilt with these gentlemen and lady. Silas was poised and professional, he knows the true definition of showmanship. I revel at the opportunity to exchange lances with these brave Knights again. The success of the tournament is a testament to what may be accomplished when those of a like mind, come together to achieve a common goal. Thank you for a wonderful experience." -- Joshua Warren

Joshua Warren(left) jousts Ryan Scammon(right)(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

Elizabeth Jones is not officially a member of any troupe, but was the guest of the New Riders of the Golden Age:
"Sherwood's closing tournament was an amazing experience, and I am grateful to of been part of it. All the jousters were spectacular. There were some great matches, and the high level of camaraderie made the weekend one to remember. Instead of everyone getting worked up and overly competitive, all the jousters were there to just have a good time and put on a good show for the audience, which we did! Two double un-horsings on the first day, numerous knock offs, and an amazing finale joust really showed the fans how amazing jousting can be. Plus we had the most entertaining and excellent Marshall ever!

Silas Holtz informs and entertains the crowd during the joust(photo by The Jousting Life)
"Silas selflessly stepped down from being a competitor to help put on a great show, and he did great! Everyone was a pleasure to work with, from jousters to ground crew and squires. I hope that everyone who saw the tournament walked away with an appreciation for jousting and the work that we do. Thank you to all who made it great!" -- Elizabeth Jones

Ryan Scammon(left) and Elizabeth Jones(right) unhorse each other during a jousting pass
(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

James "WildEagle" Johnson is a member of the Knights of Mayhem:
"It was a honor to cross lances with David and his group. The hard work that Charlie has put me through and all the good training and mentoring prepared me for that violent un-horsing with Eddie. Yes, I was injured going into the tournament but I have no regrets for being there and enjoying everybody over the weekend. Thank you everyone for having the Knights of Mayhem. All the help from the ground crew was absolutely amazing and to put on a show like that, we cannot do it without any of them. Most of all I want to thank everyone that showed up to support and watch. I hope they had just as much fun as we did." -- James "WildEagle" Johnson

James "WildEagle" Johnson waits for the joust to begin(photo by The Jousting Life)

Photographer Suzanne DeMink, who kindly allows The Jousting Life to use her pictures, flew down from Michigan specifically to photograph the Sherwood Forest Faire Jousting Tournament. She also had something to say about a group of people that are absolutely essential for every tournament, but who rarely receive cheers from the crowd for the work that they do.

"Today, my sincere kudos go the the grounds crew and squires that worked the Sherwood Forest Faire. They were amazing. If the lyst fell down, they were running to fix it; they were running to pick up every broken lance piece; they were adjusting armor; they were assembling more lances on the fly; they were stopping horses from blowing out the lyst; they were engaging the crowd; they were doing it all, and making the whole event look effortless!

"Several of them sustained injuries and conditions that required the paramedics, and some could not even tell you what had happened - they were so caught up in the moment that they didn't even feel it. It was amazing to watch, and an honor to meet you all. Thank you for all that you do!" -- Suzanne DeMink, photographer

David Schade receives a lance from Jonah Andrews while other members of the ground crew help Joshua Warren with his horse and armour(photo by The Jousting Life)
[Editorial note: I am embarrassed to admit that I do not know the names of the other two ground crew. If you know their names, please post them in the comments.]

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Jousting in Italy: Giostra di Pisa 2014

[Editorial note: This article is based on an information provided by Roberto Cinquegrana, the leader of the jousting troupe Compagnia dell Aquila Bianca, through Facebook and on his blog. Roberto has done his best to share information about his jousting events with me. However, since I do not speak Italian and have had to use Google translate to try to understand what he sends me, there are probably some misunderstandings. I apologize for that. If anyone is fluent in both Italian and English who would like to help out, please email me.]

On March 22, the members of the Compagnia dell Aquila Bianca were involved in a joust in Pisa, Italy. Below is a brief video of some of the jousting passes:

Giostra di Pisa(video by Templare74)

Roberto wrote a post about the joust in Pisa on his blog, "Giostra di Pisa - 22 Marzo 2014". It is, of course, written in Italian. I attempted to translate it using Google translate. However, as anyone who has ever used a computer generated translation program knows, a lot of information is lost in translation. From what I could understand:
The weather in Pisa was not the best and the ground was very wet, so it was difficult to canter at full speed. Despite that, there were some violent lance breaks, and the audience obviously enjoyed the excitement. Pisa is a magical city, as are all historical cities, and the jousters were given great hospitality.

In addition to Roberto, there were two other jousters, Fulvio and Daniele, who showed great professionalism. Gianluigi, Enrico, Margherita and Simona(who I assume were the ground crew) provided a calming and motivational presence throughout the tournament. Roberto is very proud of the whole team.

An official named Roberta Inama tried on Roberto's armour and commented on how difficult it must be to ride a horse wearing 30 lbs of steel.

Roberta Inama in Roberto Cinquegrana's jousting armour(photo from Roberto Cinquegrana)

Many thanks to Roberto Cinquegrana for providing the information for this article.

Monday, March 31, 2014

David Schade Wins Sherwood Forest Faire Jousting Tournament

This past Saturday and Sunday, March 29 & 30, were the last days of the 2014 Sherwood Forest Faire. As has become tradition, instead of the usual jousting show, the last weekend of faire featured a competitive jousting tournament. Seven jousters participated this year, including jousters from the New Riders of the Golden Age, the Knights of Mayhem, the Knights of Valour and others. David Schade, the leader of the New Riders of the Golden Age, was the winner of this year's jousting tournament. Because he had been performing as Sir William Dudley during the run of the faire, he was referred to as Sir William during the competition as well.

David Schade on his Clydesdale mare Christine(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

On the last day of the tournament, David Schade came into the final session of jousting having lost not a single match. Both Charlie Andrews and Eddie Rigney entered the final session with a single loss each. So Charlie and Eddie faced off in the first match of the session to see who would advance to compete with David for tournament champion. During the second pass Charlie's lance positively disintegrated from the power of his strike, and after five passes, Charlie had won the match and the chance to advance.

Charlie Andrews shatters his lance against Eddie Rigney(video by The Jousting Life)

The final match between Charlie and David was very evenly matched. Only the first pass did not include a lance break, though both competitors struck their opponent fairly. In the second pass, both competitors broke their lances against one another. In the third pass, Charlie broke his lance, and in the fourth and fifth pass, David broke his. A sixth pass was run, and both competitors again broke both their lances. At the end of the match, David was the winner of the match by one lance break and was declared the Champion of the Sherwood Forest Faire Jousting Tournament.

You can see video of all six passes on The Jousting Life YouTube Channel, but here is the jousting pass that put David Schade in the lead and eventually led to his winning the tournament:

David Schade breaks his lance and Charlie doesn't during the fifth pass of the final match
(video by The Jousting Life)

David rode a Clydesdale mare named Christine throughout the tournament. Christine is 18 hands tall, 19 years old and has been jousting with the New Riders of the Golden Age for 10 years. Below, David poses with Christine while wearing the sash he was awarded for winning the tournament and gives her a kiss in appreciation for her partnership in the joust.(In case you are wondering, the sash reads,"Joust Master of the Universe.")
[EDIT 4-1-14: David sent me a message about the sash: "I feel like I should point out that the sash was made by some of my teammates as a joke. Which I wore proudly. It wasn't actually awarded for winning." -- David Schade]

David Schade and his Clydesdale mare Christine(photos by The Jousting Life)

Coming in second by a single lance break was Charlie Andrews, leader of the Knights of Mayhem.  Charlie is probably best known from the National Geographic tv series, "Knights of Mayhem" which followed him the other members of his jousting troupe to several tournaments. However, Charlie has also been featured in a number of articles on The Jousting Life.

Charlie Andrews on his Belgian gelding Jaegermeister(photo by Pamela Morgan)

Charlie's horse Jaegermeister is a fan favorite. He even had his own cheering section who frequently chanted his name throughout the tournament. Jaegermeister is 13 year old, 16.3 hand, Belgian gelding.

Jaegermeister carries Charlie Andrews down the list after a massive double lance break against David Schade(photo by The Jousting Life)

Eddie Rigney of the Knights of Valour came in third. Eddie always wears pink in some form when he jousts in honor of his mother and others who are fighting breast cancer. Eddie's jousting career is currently sponsored by Palmetto Moonshine, Fish Stalker Lures and Monster Energy Drink. You can read more about Eddie in this article about him.

Eddie Rigney(photos by The Jousting Life(left) and Pamela Morgan(right))

Eddie could not bring a horse of his own, so Charlie Andrews graciously allowed Eddie to ride Arthur, one of the Knights of Mayhem's horses. Arthur is a 12 year old, 17.1 hand, Percheron gelding.

Arthur charges down the tilt, carrying Eddie in a match against David Schade on Christine
(photo by The Jousting Life)

Two other competitors made it all the way through the tournament, Joshua Warren of the Knights of Mayhem and Ryan Scammon of the New Riders of the Golden Age. Joshua rode Thor, a 10 year old, 17 hand, Paint/Belgian cross gelding. Ryan rode Marcus, a 20 year old, 18 hand, Percheron gelding.

Joshua Warren(left) and Ryan Scammon(right)(photos by Pamela Morgan)

Joshua Warren is unhorsed by David Schade(video by The Jousting Life)

Ryan Scammon is unhorsed by Charlie Andrews(video by The Jousting Life)

Unfortunately, two other competitors were unable to complete the tournament, James Johnson and Elizabeth Jones. Although James Johnson was still recovering from surgery on his left shoulder performed just 7 weeks earlier where he had to have several tendons re-attached and 5 screws implanted, he was determined to joust at Sherwood. Unfortunately, after the dramatic double unhorsing during the 2pm session the first day of the tournament, he not only aggravated his shoulder, but also damaged his hand and was unable to continue to compete. (You can see a picture and video of this pass in a previous article.) Even though he was in pain from his injuries and disappointed at having to withdraw from the tournament, he still wanted to express how grateful he was to Charlie Andrews for mentoring him in the sport of competitive jousting.

James Johnson riding Thor(photo by The Jousting Life)

Elizabeth Jones also had to limit her jousting during the competition. She had injured her back during a practice session a couple of weeks before, and when she and Ryan Scammon knocked each other off their horses during the noon session of jousting on the first day of the tournament, she aggravated her previous injury and decided to sit out the rest of that day's jousting. On the second day of the tournament, she again rode only in the noon session of jousting. [Unfortunately, due to illness, I missed both noon sessions of the tournament and did not get any pictures or video of Elizabeth jousting.]

Elizabeth Jones(photo by Merland Pernetter)

The Sherwood Forest Faire Jousting Tournament continues to be quite popular. The stands were packed for both days of the tournament, and the audience was loudly enthusiastic. You can find out more about the faire and their jousting tournament on the Sherwood Forest Faire website and Facebook page. And don't forget to 'like' The Jousting Life Facebook page in order to keep up with the latest news, pictures and videos.

The jousters are introduced to the audience before the joust(photo by The Jousting Life)