The Jousting Life

Monday, March 2, 2015

What is Jousting?

Jouster and tournament organizer Steve Hemphill is best known for the series of Lysts on the Lake competitive jousting tournaments that his company a'Plaisance produces. However, he also is an experienced video producer and has recently published a new video that attempts to answer the question,"What is Jousting?"


What is Jousting? (video by a'Plaisance)

The next Lysts on the Lake competitive jousting tournament will be held April 24 - 26, 2015, in Austin, Texas, USA.
Steve Hemphill on his jousting horse Tinkerbell during the first Lysts on the Lake competitive jousting tournament in 2011 (photo by Christopher Vaughn Strever)
Steve Hemphill on his jousting horse Tinkerbell during the first Lysts on the Lake competitive jousting tournament in 2011 (photo by Christopher Vaughn Strever)

Related articles:
Jim Myers Wins Lysts on the Lake 2014

An Interview with Jouster Jeffrey Basham, Winner of Lysts on the Lake 2013

Charlie Andrews Wins More Than Just Another Tournament at Lysts on the Lake 2012

Charlie Andrews and Steve Hemphill Cross Lances in the Joust

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sarah Hay Wins Grail of Chivalry at Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament 2015


This is not the first time that Australian jouster Sarah Hay has won a jousting tournament, she has actually won several national and international tournaments around the world. However, it is the first time that she or any woman has won the tournament championship Grail of Chivalry prize at the Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament.

Throughout the tournament, Sarah's equestrian partner was the appendix (quarter horse/thoroughbred) gelding PJ. PJ belongs to tournament organizer and leader of the Order of the Boar jousting troupe, Callum Forbes. PJ has been ridden in the Harcourt Park Jousting Tournament since 2005, and this is the second time that PJ has carried a rider to the overall championship of the tournament.

Sarah Hay riding the appendix gelding PJ during the Grail of Chivalry joust at  Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)
Sarah Hay riding the appendix gelding PJ during the Grail of Chivalry joust at 
Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)

There are actually quite a few women who compete in jousting, and as in most equestrian sports, there is no distinction between male and female competitors. However, Sarah is probably the most active woman in the sport of jousting. She regularly competes in tournaments not only in her home country of Australia and its neighbor New Zealand, but also in Europe (Belgium, Denmark, France and Poland) and North America (Canada and USA).

Sarah Hay during the awards ceremony at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by Gene Alcock)
Sarah Hay during the awards ceremony at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by Gene Alcock)

Jousting tournaments usually include several competitions based on various skills within the overall tournament. The number and style of these competitions can vary from tournament to tournament. During the previous Harcourt Park Jousting Tournament, which was held in 2013, there were three competitions: jousting, mounted melee and mounted skill at arms(MSA). Sarah won the jousting competition, but did not do as well in the other competitions and so ended up earning second place overall. However, this year, due to her consistent achievements across all four of the competitions that made up the 2015 tournament (jousting, mounted melee, MSA, armour), she earned the title of tournament champion.

Sarah Hay(left) breaks not just the frangible tip of her lance, but the solid base of the lance all the way down to her hand in a strike against Andrew McKinnon(right) during the jousting competition at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by Gene Alcock)
Sarah Hay(left) breaks not just the frangible tip of her lance, but the solid base of the lance all the way down to her hand in a strike against Andrew McKinnon(right) during the jousting competition at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by Gene Alcock)

Sarah Hay seems to be enjoying herself as she fights Rhiannon Forbes during the mounted melee at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by Gene Alcock)

Left: Sarah Hay seems to be enjoying herself as she fights Rhiannon Forbes during the mounted melee at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by Gene Alcock)

Sarah Hay, riding the appendix gelding PJ, takes aim at the rings during the MSA competition at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)



Right: Sarah Hay, riding the appendix gelding PJ, takes aim at the rings during the MSA competition at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)


Sarah Hay wears her 14th century jousting armour and carries her personalized ecranche (jousting shield) while appendix gelding PJ wears a chamfron (face armour) in one of Sarah's heraldic colors and a caparison displaying Sarah's coat of arms during Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by Katherine McWade)





Left: Sarah Hay wears her 14th century jousting armour and carries her personalized ecranche (jousting shield) while appendix gelding PJ wears a chamfron (face armour) in one of Sarah's heraldic colors and a caparison displaying Sarah's coat of arms during Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by Katherine McWade)






As for the winners of the four competitions that were included in the overall tournament:

The jousting competition was won by Gunnar Cederberg of Sweden, who also earned second place in the overall tournament. Quite an accomplishment considering this was his first time competing at Harcourt Park.

Gunnar Cederberg(left) jousts L Dale Walter(right) at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)
Gunnar Cederberg(left) jousts L Dale Walter(right) at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)

The mounted melee competition was won by Australian jouster Andrew McKinnon who was riding the Order of the Boar's well-known Charlie Warhorse.

Andrew McKinnon riding Charlie Warhorse during Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)
Andrew McKinnon riding Charlie Warhorse during Harcourt Park 2015
(photo by ATPhoto)

The mounted skill at arms competition was won by New Zealand's own John King. This was John's second time winning the MSA competition at Harcourt Park, since he also won it during the previous 2013 tournament.

John King tilting at the rings during the MSA competition at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)
John King tilting at the rings during the MSA competition at Harcourt Park 2015
(photo by ATPhoto)

Since this year's tournament was designed around a 14th century joust, there was also an armour competition based on the quality of the 14th century jousting armour worn by the competitors. Aspects considered in the competition included the overall look of the armour and accessories, the workmanship of its construction and its historical accuracy. Australian jousters Sarah Hay and Rod Walker tied for first place.

Rod Walker walks the list field in his 14th century armour during Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)
Rod Walker walks the list field in his 14th century armour during Harcourt Park 2015
(photo by ATPhoto)

Rod was featured in a previous article about Harcourt Park because of the photo documentation he shared of the creation of his 14th century kit. Unfortunately, the armour competition was the only competition that Rod was able to participate in during Harcourt Park 2015. He was badly injured during a pre-tournament practice, and though he was able to attend the tournament, he was not well enough to ride in it. This is not the first time that Rod has been injured at Harcourt Park. During the previous tournament in 2013, Rod injured his knee during the jousting and again during the mounted melee. After the second injury, he wisely chose to withdraw from the 2013 tournament.

Since Rod was unable to compete, New Zealand jouster John King's son, Glen King stepped up and rode in Rod's place in the joust. This was Glen's very first jousting tournament, and according to tournament organizer Callum Forbes, Glen did "really well", managing to tie with Sarah Hay for second place in the mounted skill at arms competition.

Glen King competing in his first jousting tournament at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)
Glen King competing in his first jousting tournament at Harcourt Park 2015
(photo by ATPhoto)

Other jousters who competed in this year's tournament included Anders Fernstedt of Sweden, Vikki Subritzky of New Zealand and L Dale Walter of USA.

After the tournament, organizer Callum Forbes stated that this was to be the last Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament. The event will continue, but under a new name, Harcourt Park Festival of History, which will include not only the medieval time period, but also other historical periods as well. Of course, the Grail of Chivalry Jousting Tournament will remain a featured part of the festival.

Callum Forbes, tournament organizer of the Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)
Callum Forbes, tournament organizer of the Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)

Many thanks to Gene Alcock, Katherine McWade and professional photographer Andrew Turner of ATPhoto for allowing the use of their photos. You can find out more about Andrew's work on the ATPhoto Facebook page, and you can see and purchase photos from both the 2015 and 2013 Harcourt Park events on his ATPhoto website.

Related articles:
Fourteenth Century Style Jousting at the Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament 2015

Canadian Dale Gienow Wins New Zealand's Harcourt Park 2013 World Invitational Jousting Tournament

Female Jouster, Sarah Hay, Wins Full Tilt International Jousting Tournament 2012

Informative Video of the 2013 Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament

Video from Harcourt Park 2013 World Invitational Jousting Tournament

Articles about Harcourt Park Jousting Tournament from other news sources:
Radio New Zealand News: "Medieval merriment comes to Upper Hutt"

The Dominion Post: "Medieval Merriment in Upper Hutt"

The Dominion Post: "Jousters at the Ready to Do Battle"

The Dominion Post: "Jousting Tournament Returns to Harcourt Park"

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Quondam is Looking for Few Good Jousters to Compete in Their Tournament

Quondam, a medieval festival held at the castle of 't Hooghuys in Berlaar, Belgium, is looking for a few good jousters to participate in their annual competitive jousting tournament. The tournament will be held May 16 - 17 and will consist of four teams of two jousters each competing in both the joust and mounted skill at arms. Jousters from any country are welcome to apply to the tournament, however, only eight jousters will be chosen to compete.


The four teams will represent the four territories of 15th century Burgundy: County of Flanders(yellow), Duchy of Limburg(white), Duchy of Brabant(black) and Duchy of Burgundy(blue). The participating jousters and tournament organizers will work together to choose the team pairings. Team banners and armbands in the team colors will be provided by the tournament organizers. The tournament organizers will also provide the equipment necessary for the joust, including frangible lances and a solid wooden tilt 1.6 meters high and 35 meters long.


Team coats of arms(images provided by Quondam)

To be considered for the competition, jousters must have their own full set of plate armour(any time period), a trained jousting horse and a medieval tent(or tents) large enough for themselves and their squires to live in during the tournament. A travel stipend of 250 Euros will be provided to each jouster to help cover the cost of transportation to and from the tournament.

Once at the tournament, a paddock, hay and water will be provided for the horses, and food will be provided for each jouster and a maximum of two squires. On Saturday night, jousters and squires will be invited to take part in a historic banquet held within the inner court of the castle.

More information about the event can be found on the Quondam websiteFacebook page or this pdf document. You can also email Quondam with any questions. If you are interested in participating, you must fill out the registration form before March 31.