The Jousting Life

Friday, April 3, 2015

Opening Night at the Royal Armouries Leeds Easter Tournament

The Thursday night before the Leeds Easter Tournament (aka the Queen's Jubilee Horn Tournament) was to begin on Good Friday, there was a special opening night event by invitation only. The author of the Judge-Tutor Semple blog(whose articles about jousting tournaments have been referenced before) was there and did a nice write up of the evening.


I have already written about this year’s Tournament a couple of times, the most recent introduces this year’s competitors. Tonight I attended an opening evening at Royal Armouries by invitation. It was an honour to be asked along. There was a talk on the history of Tournament and a chance to get a closer than usual look at some of the exhibits.
....

The Royal Armouries are very keen to keep improving the Tournament. This year they have invited more Knights than in recent years, there are both individual and team events and a mounted melee for the first time. The mounted melee involves all six knights being involved at once armed with wooden clubs.

Jouster Ben van Koert holds his helm(his left hand) and the original helm(his right hand)  that it was based on (photo from Judge-Tutor Semple)
Jouster Ben van Koert holds his helm(his left hand) and the original helm(his right hand)
that it was based on (photo from Judge-Tutor Semple)

Ben van Koert, a member of the Burgundy team, showed me the helm he will be using in the melee. He pointed out a small dent and told me that iot was sustained from a full force blow from a pollax. The dent really was quite small, an impressive helm indeed. Ben and his helm came face to face with the original upon which it isd based. The similarities were very obvious and more impressive given that the armourer that made it for Ben had only photos to work from. The original is in Ben’s right hand.

To read the rest of the article, click here.


Related articles:
Three Teams of Jousters to Compete at the Queen's Jubilee Horn Tournament 2015

Andy Deane and "How to Train a Knight"

An Interview with Jouster Mark Caple, Champion of the Queen's Jubilee Horn Tournament 2014

Mark Caple Wins the Leeds Easter Jousting Tournament 2014

The First Day of the Leeds Easter Jousting Tournament 2014

Nice Blog Post About the Easter Joust at Royal Armouries Leeds 2013

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Three Teams of Jousters to Compete at the Queen's Jubilee Horn Tournament 2015

The Leeds Easter Tournament will occur this coming weekend, from Friday, April 3, through Monday, April 6. Also called the Queen's Jubilee Horn Tournament, it is the only competitive jousting tournament sanctioned by HM The Queen Elizabeth II. The winner of the tournament "holds" the Queen's Jublilee Horn Trophy and the title of Queen's Champion until the next tournament. Although the trophy resides in the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds throughout the year, the tournament winner's name and coat of arms are inscribed on a small shield which is permanently attached to the chains supporting the Queen's Jubilee Horn Trophy.

Out of the four jousters who were invited to compete last year, Mark Caple won the honour of being the Queen's Champion for 2014. You can read more about Mark and his experiences during the tournament in an interview he gave The Jousting Life. But who will win the honour of being the Queen's Champion for 2015?

2014 Queen's Champion Mark Caple on the jousting horse Aramis, Mark Atkinson holds the Queen's Jubilee Horn Trophy (photo from Royal Armouries Tournaments)
2014 Queen's Champion Mark Caple on the jousting horse Aramis, Mark Atkinson holds the Queen's Jubilee Horn Trophy (photo from Royal Armouries Tournaments)

For the 2015 Queen's Jubilee Horn Tournament, six jousters were invited to compete for the honour of holding the trophy and the title for the year. The jousters will compete in three teams of two:
Team England – Nicky Willis and Andy Deane;
Team Burgundy – Ben van Koert and Steve R. Gagnon;
Team Poland – Jan Gradon and Jarek Struczynski.

Nicky Willis
Jouster Nicky Willis at the Tonsberg Medieval Festival 2013 (photo by WinPics Photography)
Nicky Willis at the Tonsberg Medieval Festival 2013 (photo by WinPics Photography)

Nicky Willis will be riding for Team England. Nicky is a professional horse trainer and barn manager and has been involved with supplying horses for the Royal Armouries international jousting tournaments since 2003, however this will be first time she has ever competed as a jouster at any of the Royal Armouries tournaments.

She has been jousting since 2008 and has competed in a number of other tournaments across Europe and Australia. Her proudest moment came in 2013, when she earned the title of Joust Champion at the Tonsberg Medieval Festival Tournament. Nicky will be the first female jouster to compete in the Queen's Jubilee Horn Tournament.

To learn more about Nicky, check out "Meet the Jouster: Nicky Willis" on the Royal Armouries blog.

Andy Deane
Jouster Andy Deane at Arundel International Tournament 2014 (photo by Stephen Moss/PhotoSM)
Andy Deane at Arundel International Tournament 2014 (photo by Stephen Moss/PhotoSM)

Andy Deane will also be riding for Team England. Andy works as a visitor experience team coach at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds. You may remember him from the recent interview he did about his participation in a particularly amusing training video.

Andy has been involved in armoured combat since 1985 and in jousting since 1993. He joined the Royal Armouries jousting team in 1995 and served as captain of the team for a number of years. He has competed in numerous tournaments in various countries over the past 22 years, and has won the Queen's Jubilee Horn Tournament twice, first in 2011 and again in 2013. In 2014, he won the individual championship at the prestigious Arundel International Tournament.

To learn more about Andy, check out "Meet the Jouster: Andy Deane(Old Iron-Arm)" on the Royal Armouries blog.

Ben van Koert
Jouster Ben van Koert at Arundel International Tournament 2014 (photo by ARW Photo)
Ben van Koert at Arundel International Tournament 2014 (photo by ARW Photo)

Ben van Koert will be riding for Team Burgundy. Ben first encountered competitive jousting while working as a fire-artist for the event, Ridders van de Haar in 2004. Over the next few years, he became more involved with medieval reenactment and attended several tournaments. In 2008, he began to help out as ground crew for the jousting troupe Stichting HEI. Then, he also started taking riding lessons.

After some additional training with the jousting troupe Destrier and with renowned jouster Arne Koets, Ben competed in his first joust in 2011. In July 2014, along with his teammate Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell, Ben van Koert won the Team Championship at the prestigious Arundel International Tournament.

To learn more about Ben, check out "Meet the Jouster: Ben van Koert" on the Royal Armouries blog.

Steve R. Gagnon
Jouster Steve R. Gagnon at the Tournament of King John III at Gniew Castle 2013 (photo by Andrzej Wiktor)
Steve R. Gagnon at the Tournament of King John III at Gniew Castle 2013
(photo by Andrzej Wiktor)

Steve R. Gagnon will be also be riding for Team Burgundy. Steve works as an art and creative director in the advertising industry -- emphasis on 'creative'. When he is not jousting, he likes to draw, paint and sculpt. He also writes the occasional article for The Jousting Life. You can see an example of his skill in both the written and the visual arts in the article, "A Few Yards of Scarlet Velvet".

Steve first began jousting in the year 2000 in Canada. He began jousting internationally in 2009, and has since competed in Belgium, France, Poland, England, USA and, of course, his home country of Canada. He has also organized several international jousting tournaments. However, his proudest achievement so far was winning the jousting competition during the Tournament of King John III at Gniew Castle in 2013 against 11 of the world's most renowned jousters.

To learn more about Steve, check out "Meet the Jouster: Steve R. Gagnon" on the Royal Armouries blog.

Jan Gradon
Jouster Jan Gradon at the Tournament of King John III at Gniew Castle 2013 (photo by Andrzej Wiktor)
Jan Gradon at the Tournament of King John III at Gniew Castle 2013
(photo by Andrzej Wiktor)

Jan Gradon will be riding for Team Poland. Jan Gradon is one of two main organizers (his teammate Jarek Struczynski is the other) for the largest international jousting tournament in Poland, the Tournament of King John III at Gniew Castle(Turniej Króla Jana III Sobieskiego na Zamku w Gniewie), about which he did an interview with The Jousting Life. Jan has been loosely involved with historical reenactment since 1996, but became more seriously involved when he joined the Society of St. Michael Archangel (TaŚMA) in 2004. He became involved with historical equestrian reenactment with the group Xiazeca Druzyna in 2005.

Jan has competed in tournaments in both Europe and North America. Some of his favorite tournament memories include participating in the first international joust at Gniew Castle in 2008 and winning the tournament championship at the Tournament of the Phoenix in 2011. He is also quite proud of winning the mounted skill at arms portion of the prestigious Arundel International Tournament in 2014.

To learn more about Jan, check out "Meet the Jouster: Jan Gradon" on the Royal Armouries blog.

Jarosław 'Jarek' Struczynski
Jouster Jarek Struczynski at the Tournament of King John III at Gniew Castle 2013 (photo by Andrzej Wiktor)
Jarek Struczynski at the Tournament of King John III at Gniew Castle 2013
(photo by Andrzej Wiktor)

Jarek Struczynski will also be riding for Team Poland. Jarek is the other half of the dynamic duo that organizes the Tournament of King John III at Gniew Castle. He is, in fact the main man behind the reconstruction and regeneration of Gniew Castle(Zamek Gniew) and its development into one of the leading centers for historical reenactment in Poland. Jarek is also heavily involved in various other military/historical events throughout Poland.

Jan and Jarek make a great team and were previously paired as Team Poland at Arundel International Tournament 2014, where they were given the nickname "The Joust Brothers". Jarek has competed in a number of other tournaments around the world including competitions in Poland, England, Belgium, France, Norway, Canada and the USA. He earned the highest individual score at Le Tournoi du Lys d’Argent in 2012 and the Tournament in Trondheim, and he earned the title of Tournament Champion at the Tournament of the Phoenix 2013.

To learn more about Jarek, check out "Meet the Jouster: Jarosław 'Jarek' Struczynski" on the Royal Armouries blog.

Since jousting horses are also a rather important part of any tournament, the Royal Armouries blog has also created a separate post for each jousting horse who will be involved in the tournament.

Jouster Wouter Nicolai on the jousting horse Albert during the Queen's Jubilee Horn Tournament 2013 (photo from Royal Armouries blog)
Wouter Nicolai on the jousting horse Albert during the Queen's Jubilee Horn Tournament 2013 (photo from Royal Armouries blog)

Click on the name below to see the information, photos and videos about each horse:
Albert: 16.3 hand, Irish Draft x Thoroughbred
Alfie: 15.1 hand, Traditional Gypsy Cob
Aramis: 15 hand, Dales x Irish Draft
Dylan: 15 hand, Dales
Patrick: 17 hand, Irish Sport Horse
Rupert: 16.3 hand, Irish Draft
Ted: 15.1 hand, Irish Cob
Tino: 16.1 hand, Lusitano x Irish Draft
You can find out more information about the Queen's Jubilee Horn Tournament (aka the Leeds Easter Tournament) and other jousting events on the Royal Armouries Tournaments Facebook page.

Related articles:
An Interview with Jouster Mark Caple, Champion of the Queen's Jubilee Horn Tournament 2014

Andy Deane and "How to Train a Knight"

Interview with Ben van Koert, Half of the Winning Team at Arundel International Tournament 2014

A Few Yards of Scarlet Velvet

An Interview with Jan Gradon, Coordinator of the Tournament of King John III at Gniew Castle

Mark Caple Wins the Leeds Easter Jousting Tournament 2014

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Jaakko Nuotio Wins the Finnish National Championship of Historical Riding

Press release from the jousting troupe Rohan Tallit:

Weather didn't stop the competing mounts at the Finnish Championship. The Finnish National Championship for jousting and mounted skill at arms was held on March 28 at the Rohan Stables in rainy spring weather. The competition was organized by the Historical Riding association of Finland.

Jose Bernardes(left) and Anu Nuotio (right) joust during the Finnish National Championship 2015 (photo by Marjo Lunden)
Jose Bernardes(left) and Anu Nuotio (right) joust during the Finnish National Championship 2015
(photo by Marjo Lunden)

Class 2 Mounted Skill at Arms - Hunting
Ivan Lopez - Horse Brasil - 26 p
Jaakko Nuotio - Horse Fere - 24,5 p
Anu Nuotio - Horse Gitan muisto - 23,25 p
Jose Bernardes - Horse Alecto - 15,25 p

Ivan Lopez spears the beast during the Hunting MSA competition (photo by Marjo Lunden)
Ivan Lopez spears the beast during the Hunting MSA competition (photo by Marjo Lunden)

Class 3 Mounted Skill at Arms - War
Jaakko Nuotio - Horse Fere - 29,5 p
Anu Nuotio - Horse Gitan muisto - 18,75 p
Jose Bernardes - Horse Alecto - 16,25 p
Ivan Lopez - Horse Brasil - na

Anu Nuotio jumps the "dead bodies" during the War MSA competition (photo by Marjo Lunden)
Anu Nuotio jumps the "dead bodies" during the War MSA competition
(photo by Marjo Lunden)

Class 5 Jousting
Jaakko Nuotio - Horse Fere - 12 p
Anu Nuotio - Horse Alecto - 6 p
Jose Bernardes - Horse Gitan Muisto - 3 p

Jaakko Nuotio (left) jousts his wife Anu Nuotio (right) during the jousting competition at the Finnish National Championships 2015 (photo by Marjo Lunden)
Jaakko Nuotio (left) jousts his wife Anu Nuotio (right) during the jousting competition at the
Finnish National Championships 2015 (photo by Marjo Lunden)

The national champion in 2015 is Jaakko Nuotio with total score of 66 points.
National silver goes to Anu Nuotio with total score of 48 points.
The bronze medalist is Jose Bernardes with total score of 34,5 points.

Related articles:
A Video about Mounted Skill at Arms by Rohan Tallit

Courtly Games & Fun: True melee and Jousting in Hämeenlinna