The Jousting Life

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Jousting Life is on Indefinite Hiatus

My apologies, but I am unable to continue to write articles for The Jousting Life website at this time. However,  The Jousting Life Facebook page is still active. Feel free to post information of interest to jousters and the jousting community there. You may also email me information about competitive jousting tournaments and things related to competitive jousting to be shared.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Look Back at the 2015 Jousting Season of Association Chevalerie Initiatique

Written by Alexandre Leon of Association Chevalerie Initiatique

In 2015, Association Chevalerie Initiatique participated in more than ten events in France and Belgium. The troupe also participated in tournaments from Crèvecoeur, Fontainbleau and Agincourt to the castles of the Loire.

Jousters of Association Chevalerie Initiatique, left to right: Alexander Leon, Arnaud Leon, Quentin Ricolleau, Marie Meunier, Benjamin Neel and Meryl Bunout (photo by Eric Meunier)

The 2015 season was hectic, not just because of changes in equipment and horses, but also changes in jousters. Chevaleri Initiatique does not stop striving to improve materially, technically and historically. During this season, we participated in a few atypical events, such as the parade at the Grand Palace of Bruxelle. We also had eight riders who participated in the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt.

Florent Meriel jousts Alexandre Leon (photo by Eric Meunier)

In 2015, we also introduced a new generation of jousters. Marie Meunier, a young lady of 17 and Benjamin Benjamin Neel, a 24-year-old man, both donned armor, joining the more experienced team members of the troupe. Their addition brings the average age of the team to 24 years. The younger jousters earned a couple of victories during tournaments this season. For example, at a tournament at the Château du Rivau, Quentin Ricolleau(21 years) became champion during a jousting competition based on the Tournament of King Rene, which set the count of Brézé against that of Rivau.

Quentin Ricolleau receives first prize for winning the Tournament at the Château du Rivau
(photo by Eric Meunier)

And we should not forget Valentin Colle, who won at the Tournaments of Agincourt. And Florent Meriel, who was the Champion of Brézé.

Florent Meriel(left) jousts Alexandre Leon(right) at the Château de Crèvecoeur, August, 2015
(photo by Eric Meunier)

These young jousters exhibited a general level of accomplishment which continued to increase, following the example of the older riders.

Marie Meunier, a young jouster at Château du Rivau, August, 2015 (photo by Eric Meunier)

However the more experienced riders were not outdone because the current president of Association Chevalerie Initiatique, Meryl Bunout, won a whole lot of the events of Ommegang of Brussels. And Arnaud Leon won the tournaments on his lands of Chambines!

Arnaud Leon at the Tournament of Chambines 2015 (photo by Eric Meunier)

At the end of the 2015 season, the general ranking was:
1. Meryl Bunout
2. Alexandre Leon
3. Arnaud Leon
4. Quentin Ricolleau
5. Valentin Colle
6. Jérôme Sauterel
7. Florent Meriel
8. Marie Meunier
9. Benjamin Neel

Meryl Bunout(left) and Alexander Leon (right) at Château du Rivau 2015 (photo by Eric Meunier)

This past season was outstanding, we competed at magnificent castles and the audiences were great! However, we knew all the same during this season full of changes how to maintain the family context which allows this chivalrous adventure to continue. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Virginia Léon, Virginia Miller and all the others who work behind the scenes to allow this association to evolve; without them nothing would be possible, and we could not continue to compete in front of the crowds!

The 2016 season looks even more full than 2015 was, with more events and thus more shows. We hope that 2016 will be even bigger and better than previous years.

For more information about Association Chevalerie Initiatique, check out their website and Facebook page. You can also email them.

Valentin Colle(left) jousts Alexander Leon(right) at Château du Rivau 2015 (photo by Eric Meunier)

Related articles:
Favorite Moments from 2014: Part One

Favorite Moments from 2014: Part Two

Favorite Moments From 2014: Photographers Andrew Wickens and Hanno van Harten

Favorite Moments from 2010: The Accidental International Jouster's Tale

Favorite Moments from 2014: Part Five

Favorite Moments From 2014: Epic Moment at Brooks Medieval Faire

Favorite Moments from 2014: Part Seven

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ramdom Pic: Helm Off!

Back in 2006, Toby Capwell blasted Arne Koets' helm completely off during a jousting pass. I do not know if, or how badly, Arne was injured during this incident, but both Toby and Arne have continued to compete in jousting tournaments to this day. Toby Capwell is actually Dr. Tobias Capwell FSA, and – in addition to his jousting activities – he is the curator of arms and armour at the prestigious Wallace Collection. Today, Arne Koets not only competes in jousting tournaments, he also organizes them.

Toby Capwell(left) knocks Arne Koets'(right) helm off during a jousting pass in 2006
(photo by Jonathan Hodd)

There are several articles and interviews about Toby and Arne's more recent jousting activities listed below as well as a link to video from another incident where a jouster's helm was knocked off by his opponent's lance.

Feel free to write something in the comments about this photo, especially if you have some knowledge about this dramatic un-helming or any other incident involving a jouster's helm being knocked off.

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

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

Video: Toby Capwell Explains His Passion for Jousting

Promotional Video for Die Grossen Ritterspiele zu Schaffhausen

Jouster's Helmet Knocked Off by Opponent's Lance at the European Championship Joust at Spottrup Castle

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

English Heritage Announces their Jousting Tournaments for 2015

English Heritage is a charitable company that takes care of over 400 historic sites throughout England. The places they care for span six millennia and include palaces, houses, hill figures, castles, abbeys, industrial sites, Roman forts and even deserted medieval villages. English Heritage works to inspire, entertain and educate people about history ... where it actually happened. Their aim is to create inspirational visitor experiences that bring the story of England to life.

Mark Griffin(left) and Joram van Essen(right) joust at Carisbrooke Castle in August 2014
(photo by English Heritage/Chris Long)

Part of their program of events each year is a series of competitive jousting tournaments that take place at various castles and ruins across the English countryside. This year, they have created a video featuring jouster Dominic Sewell to help promote these jousts.

How to Joust Like a Medieval Knight(video by English Heritage)

You can find out more about these tournaments on the Knights and Jousts events page of the English Heritage website.

Related articles:
Jousting Tournaments

Competitive Jousting Tournament to be Held at Château du Plessis-Bourré

Jousters Featured in Documentary about Richard III

The Tournament of the Golden Chain at the Middelaldercentret 2014

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lysts on the Lake 2013 Documentary

The Lysts on the Lake 2013 competitive jousting tournament was held October 30 - November 1 in Cedar Park, Texas, USA. Nine jousters competed in jousting, mounted melee, mounted skill at arms and chivalry for the tournament championship. Jeffrey Basham of Texas won both the jousting and mounted skill at arms competitions as well as the tournament championship. Dave Wise, also of Texas, won the mounted melee competition, and Sarah Hay, who came all the way from Australia to compete, was chosen to receive the Award of Chivalry.

Jouster Jeffrey Basham on his jousting horse Pooh Bear at  Lysts on the Lake 2013(photo by Zhi Zhu/The Jousting Life)
Jouster Jeffrey Basham on his jousting horse Pooh Bear at 
Lysts on the Lake 2013(photo by Zhi Zhu/The Jousting Life)

Josh Baker of AzulOx Visuals, who has been photographing the Lysts on the Lake jousting tournaments for several years, videotaped the tournament for the first time. It took a while to edit, but he released the finished video documentary of the tournament in May 2015. The documentary not only features video of the equestrian competitions, it also includes interviews with some of the jousters and ground crew involved in the tournament, as well as tournament organizer Steve Hemphill of a'Plaisance, Ltd.

Lysts on the Lake 2013 Documentary(video by AzulOx)

You can find out more about the Lysts on the Lake competitive jousting tournaments on the Lysts on the Lake website.

Related articles:
Jeffrey Basham Wins Tournament Champion at Lysts on the Lake 2013

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

DeSignet International Designs Custom Prizes for Lysts on the Lake 2013