The Jousting Life

Monday, December 10, 2012

Esprit de Corps Dominates at the "Tournament of the Phoenix 2012"

Written and pictures provided by WorldJoust Tournaments:

Esprit de Corps dominates at the Tournament of the Phoenix 2012

The gem cannot be polished without friction nor man without trials.

It is said that a glass is either half full or half empty, depending on one’s perspective. It is also said that every cloud has a silver lining, and every rose has thorns. Since the beginning event that gave it its name, every Tournament of the Phoenix has a theme, and this year it was optimism, hope and fortitude.

The Tournament of the Phoenix had been plagued by various issues in 2009, 10 and 11. ‘I decided at the end of 2011 that 2012 was going to be a great year,’ says event producer Gwen Nowrick, ‘and I kept that idea in the front of my mind no matter what happened.’

The producers spent a year working diligently to plan and prepare for the event. ‘Everything was in place, and we headed into the last 8 week stretch confident in our groundwork.’

Then, things started to come undone. Problems started cropping up with everything from staff and schedules to vehicles to transportation. Undaunted, Nowrick remained positive. ‘I faced each new challenge positively, and began moving people around like Tetris blocks’ laughs Nowrick ‘I guess this was the Universe’s way to saying we all were ready for a change.’

The changes also brought a few newcomers to the event. ‘When our Marshal couldn’t make it, I threw Mike Loades’ name on the table. Mike has been a huge supporter of our efforts with the tournament, so I thought we had nothing to lose by asking him.’ To the producer’s delight, Mike accepted with enthusiasm.

Internationally known author, director, and military expert Mike Loades was the Marshal of the Field at the Tournament of the Phoenix 2012. (Photo by Bob Naegele)

Opening day Friday dawned clear and warm, nearly perfect in every way. Nowrick relates ‘From the first moments the gate was open, it was clear to me that despite adversity, this was going to be a stellar year. The spirit of cooperation and good humour from everyone on site was infectious.’

The initial session of the new Skill at Arms competition went off without a hitch, thrilling the 1,000+ school kids and families on site. In a departure from previous years, competitors were not the knights competing in the tournament, but rather grooms, valets, and other support staff. ‘Most of the staff train for these activities anyway, which makes them so good at their various jobs’ explains Nowrick ‘it was a logical step to give them their own competition so they had a chance to shine, and good fun for the audience as well.’

Stable Master Erin Hill scores full points by carrying the helmet in the Helm Strike event.
(Photo by Amanda Mielke)

The jousting was nearly bang on from the first course. ‘Steve Mallett’s advance work with the horses really showed in their performance, and they were up to speed almost immediately. Some of the competitors took a little longer to get into the groove’ she says jokingly.

Saturday dawned picture perfect as only an autumn day in San Diego can. Crowds lined the rails to cheer on the skill at arms competitors competing in hunting games. Everything was going very well until Head of Ground crew Joel Hill took a spectacular spill in the Drag Target event. Proving that judges can have a sense of humour, Joel was given bonus points for his dismount!

Saturday’s first joust went by the book. The crowds welcomed Jeff Hedgecock with chants of ‘U-S-A! U-S-A!’, and Steve Mallett with ‘Ham-mer - Ham-mer!! The 18 courses were run like clockwork, with many fine strikes and hard hits that had the crowd on their feet cheering and whistling. At the end of the first scored event, Jeff Hedgecock took the lead with a score of 19 points.

Sean George(L) and Steve Mallett(R) create a shower of splinters during a pass while Scoring Judges JP Clamme(R) and Darth Rimmer(L) watch closely.
(Photo by Bob Naegele)

The next scored event was the pollaxe competition. There were many fine fights and impressive displays of martial prowess, as competitors battled round after round in the unaccustomed heat. When it was clear that competitor Toby Capwell was flagging, opponent Marc Hamel yielded the field.

Marc Hamel attempts to yield the field to Toby Capwell. (Photo by Leslie Chappell-Britt)

Although acknowledged as a fine display of chivalry, fierce competitor Toby refused the concession and fought the last point. The bouts continued until competitor Marc Hamel was struck below the eye with a pollaxe. The crowd stood in hushed silence as Marc knelt in the arena clutching his face. The on-site medic ran to his aid, and a sigh of relief swept thru the crowd when it was announced that although the injury was severe, Marc ‘s eye was all right. The battles continued, with Steve Mallett emerging victorious with 4 points.

The second session of jousting saw Jeffrey and Toby jousting for Marc Hamel when the medic recommended Marc not compete any more that day. Jeffrey and Toby ran fine courses, earning a very respectable 13 points for Marc. The session closed with Jeff Hedgecock in first place with 17 points.

Toby Capwell jousts for Marc Hamel wearing Marc’s shield.
(Photo by Leslie Chappell Britt)

At the end of the first day of competition Jeffrey Hedgecock was in front with 38 points, Steve Mallett in second with 32 points, and Marc Hamel in third with 30 points.

Sunday was another gorgeous day, and the crowd was ready. The final day of the skill at arms competition were the martial games of quintain, helmet strike and cut/thrust, which was won by Scoring Judge Darth Rimmer.

Scoring Judge Darth Rimmer display great accuracy as he rides hard in the cut and thrust event. (Photo by Javier Camacho)

Sunday morning, Steve Mallett was overcome by the heat while working with a troublesome horse, and withdrew from the session. Jeff stepped up and jousted for Steve, earning Steve 17 points. Again, competitors landed many hard hits and scored many breaks that sent lance shards and coronels flying high into the air, much to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd. Competitor Sean George found his groove, and scored 19 points to win the session.

The 5th event of the tournament was the Club Tourney. The Lady of Honour exercised her rights and judged that due to his injury Marc Hamel should not compete in this grueling event. She appointed Marc Knight of Mercy; in this role Marc would be sent in to ‘rescue’ any competitor who was overcome, or whose horse appeared to be struggling. Darth Rimmer asked for the honour of competing in the club tourney for Marc. The Lady Judges agreed, and Darth rode for Marc.

Toby Capwell in hot pursuit of Darth Rimmer during the club tourney. Darth is riding for the injured Marc Hamel. (Photo by Bob Naegele)

Marshal of the Field Mike Loades recounts the Club tourney- ‘the mounted club tourney was absolutely thrilling, with the whole pack of riders constantly swarming from one end of the field to the other at a fast canter, belabouring each other with solid blows as they did so. There was great tactical play as the action swirled with unrelenting intent. All became exhausted at about the same time.‘ This event has no quantifiable method of scoring such as blows struck; rather, the Lady Judges rank the competitors according to their horsemanship, horse management, tactical ability and courage. Steve Mallet emerged victorious and was awarded 12 points. Jeff Hedgecock and Toby Capwell tied for second and were given 9 points each.

The competitors entered the last scored event with Steve Mallett in first place with 61 points, Jeff Hedgecock in second with 57 points, and Toby Capwell in third with 50 points. Sean George, Marc Hamel and Luc Petillot trailed with 49, 44 and 35 points respectively.

Once again, the jousters were met with cheers and whistles as they entered the tiltyard as the crowd supported their favorites. The competitors rose to the challenge, scoring the hardest hits and biggest breaks of the event. The crowd went wild as Toby Capwell and his horse Lucas flew into the tilt at a flat out gallop, delivering punishing hits and massive breaks. Luc Petillot was the high scorer of the session, breaking lances with clock like precision. All competitors were in high form, and enthusiastic shouts of
‘Woo hoo!’ could often be heard from inside helmets as competitors streaked down the tilt.

Luc Petillot(L) lands a big hit on Toby Capwell(R) during the final. (Photo by Amanda Mielke)

When the final score was announced, Steve Mallet was the winner, with Jeff Hedgecock one point behind in second place. Having fallen quite hard in practice on Thursday, and then riding 3 different horses on Sunday, for a total of 4 horses over the 3 days of the event, Steve felt Jeff had fought hard and performed well, so asked Marshal Mike Loades and Lady of Honour Kyle to declare it a draw between [Steve] and Jeff. The Judges agreed, and the competition was declared to have 2 winners.

Steve congratulates Jeff and Toby acknowledges the cheers of the crowd as the results are announced. (Photo by Janice Kall)

Tobias Capwell was awarded the Chivalry prize by the Lady Judges, much to his surprise and delight. David Young of Turlock California won the Skill at Arms with 20 points

Producer Gwen Nowrick sums up the event- ‘The term 'esprit de corps' came to my mind time and time again during the course of this event as competitors stepped up for their comrades who could not. Jeff and Toby jousted for Marc when he had been injured. Darth volunteered to ride for Marc in the club tourney, and Jeff jousted for Steve. Like mountain climbers who wouldn’t leave a man behind, the guys pulled each other along to reach the end of the event. I can't even begin to explain how proud I was of every single person who worked together tirelessly, selflessly and without fanfare to make this event happen. It was the most humbling experience of my life, and is a feeling I will always cherish.’

Group shot of the competitors L-R: Steve Mallett - England, Tobias Capwell - England/USA, Jeffrey Hedgecock - USA, Sean George - England, Marcus Hamel - Canada, Luc Petillot - France.
(Photo by Amanda Mielke)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Guest Writer, Jouster Marc Hamel: Acts of Valor

A veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, Marc Hamel began jousting in 2006 at a local tournament in Quebec Canada. In 2009, he began jousting internationally at the Hackaland tournament in Belgium and has since jousted in France, Italy, England and the USA. Marc recently competed in  "The Tournament of the Phoenix 2012" which took place in southern California, USA. He has graciously allowed "The Jousting Life" to post his comments about "The Tournament of the Phoenix".

Acts of Valor
Marc Hamel

Most of the time, jousting is a sport with the goal of becoming the best there is in a tournament. But on rare occasions like in "The Tournament of the Phoenix", the competition can turn in to something greater than just scoring points.

During the first day after the first session of joust, I got myself injured in the poleaxe duels and found myself unable to joust for the second session. To make sure that I was not left behind on the scoring, Jeffrey Hedgecock and Toby Capwell took it upon themselves to make all the runs that I was suppose to do. Toby went even further by wearing my shield and broke more lances for me than he did for himself.

The next day, Jeffrey scored points for Steve "The Hammer" Mallet who had no horse for one session, and by doing that Jeffrey provided the victory to "The Hammer" by 1 point over himself. Steve, unsatisfied with the final score, called a draw to put Jeffrey and himself both at the first place.

I have the privilege to joust all over the world, but my privilege is greater when I am the witness of such good quality of men and tournament and it keeps me going that kind of path.

Marc Hamel jousts Steve Mallett at "The Tournament of the Phonix 2012"
(photo by Bob Naegele)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Photographer Oliver Dunsch: My Day in Sankt Wendel

Today's guest writer is photographer Oliver Dunsch. He attended "The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel", took lots of pictures and wrote up this article about his experiences.

My Day in Sankt Wendel
Oliver Dunsch

My friend from childhood days – and still my best buddy in the world – Dirk Breiding came up with the idea of going to "Das große Turnier von Sankt Wendel" ("The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel") to do a story about arms, armor, knights and real jousting. We already spent quite a few weekends together on similar events, and I do know quite a bit about the middle ages, armor and effigies. But this one was told to be different, to be unique, THE first REAL tournament since 1512! So he sent me the link to the YouTube promo video from Ben van Koert and I was thrilled from the very beginning.

video by Ben van Koert/Kaos Historical Media

That was months ago. In the meantime he figured out that he would be unable to attend, so my goal was reporting from the event, one whole day, taking as many pictures as I could.

Jousting arena at "The Grand Tournament of St. Wendel"
(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

Still being fascinated by the trailer I got up early Sunday morning, at 4:30 am, September 2nd. I wanted to catch the scene during sunrise with no people around. The weather was perfect, not too cold, a bit foggy which gave the scene a mystic touch.

Morning at "The Grand Tournament of St. Wendel"(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

There were campfires still smoldering and the remains of a "Saufgelage" (drunken revelry) on huge tables. With a bit of imagination you could think of what happened the days before.

Smoldering campfire(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

A huge pile of broken lances with names on were telling stories from the Friday and Saturday jousts.

Broken lances(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

And then, with the sun, people began to crawl out of their tents, all wearing beautifully manufactured clothing, examples of true craftsmanship. That was the first time I was sure I wanted to wear something matching on my next photo-job during a similar event.

Morning discussion about armour(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

Even though it was obvious that I did not belong to the middle age crowd, everyone was friendly, gave me the feeling of being part of the family. And that continued for the rest of the day.

Squires and knights preparing for the final day, beautiful horses being fed and groomed.

Preparing the horses(photos by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

And many more helpers doing a fabulous job to not create a fiction, but to live real history.

Blacksmith at "The Grand Tournament of St. Wendel"
(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

Or even real life, with real virtue, with real honor and true comradeship, placed in the scenery of the middle ages.

Left - Max Knegjens carries the banner for Luke Binks
Right - Andreij Pfeiffer-Perkuhn helps Andreas Wenzel to mount
(photos by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

Probably to have the audience believe even more in what they were privileged to watch and be part of.

Black powder guns(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

I got more and more involved in what everyone was working for and what everyone truly believed: A passion with the potential of making a better human being of every single participant and every single visitor.

The whole program was very interesting, was fantastic and every single part was performed with pride and professionalism: from the hunting scenes

Arne Koets and Joram van Essen demonstrate falconry
(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

to the armor-plating demonstrations,

left - Andreij Pfeiffer-Perkuhn helps Andreas Wenzel with his armour
right - Dominic Sewell is helped with his armour
(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

from the cannons to the swordfights, from the joust to the melée.

Lances with coronels ready for jousting(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

Toby Capwell, Arne Koets, Andreas Wenzel, Wouter Nicolai and Luke Binks enter the field for the melee(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

Per Estein Prøis- Røhjell, Dominic Sewell, Petter Ellingsen, Alix van Zijl and Joram van Essen wait for the start of the melee(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

And these two events, the joust and the melée, were the main events, the reason for everyone to come to St. Wendel. To find what we nowadays would call the world champion of jousting.

Per Estein Prøis- Røhjell jousts Petter Ellingsen(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

The mounted melee at "The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel"
(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

At the end of the last day, after the last melée, it was obvious that not only the one with the most points won that beautiful sword, but also the one every other competitor thought would be a worthy owner of that fantastic prize – Joram van Essen – and that to me made all the difference.

Joram van Essen during the mounted melee(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

There was neither jealousy nor envy, but I am sure there now is the need for another tournament next year, to give all these brave knights the chance to win the world's most important tournament.

Joram van Essen holds the tournament prize sword
(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

This year, the success is the prize everyone carries home. The success of a great event I had the privilege to be part of.

I had great people by my side, like Andreij Pfeiffer-Perkuhn, Andreas Wenzel and last but not least my friend Tobias Capwell.

Dr. Tobias Capwell at "The Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel"
(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

I came to take great pictures, and I learned a lot about the jousting nowadays. Thanks again guys, thanks to everyone I am now friends with on Facebook! See you next year and at every single comparable event. I got infected.

People who helped create "The Grand Tournament of St. Wendel"
(photo by Oliver Dunsch Photography)

To see more of Oliver's pictures from Sankt Wendel, follow this link.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Interview with Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell: Jouster at "The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel"

Per Estein Prøis- Røhjell, called Pelle by many in the jousting community, was one of the jousters at “The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel”.

Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell(aka Pelle) at Sankt Wendel(photo by Rozemarijn Keurning)

According to “The Knights” page of “The Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel” website:
Per and his wife, Hanne, run a riding school in Norway called Trollspeilet. Their appetites for the history of horseback fighting has led them to various places, sometimes astray, but Per has now found a path that leads toward the goal of being a realistically good mounted knight!

He learns from a few different sources: he has studied with the Hofreitschule in Bückeburg, he has trained with Arthur Kottas Heldenberg of the Spanish Riding school in Vienna, and trains regularly with a Portuguese bullfighter and Working Equitation world champion.

He finds that this mix gives him a deep insight in from several different angles – hopefully it will make him dangerous on the field of battle as well!

Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell jousts at Sankt Wendel(photo by Rozemarijn Keurning)

Per aka Pelle was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about his experiences during “The Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel”.

How did you become involved with “The Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel”(GTSW)?

Pelle: I was introduced to the top level of jousting through Luke Binks, who lives with my stepdaughter. He thought my skills belonged at this level, and had me meet Arne Koets – the hub of the wheel that started rolling at St. Wendel.

Tell me the name of and a little about your history/relationship with the horse you rode in the GTSW.

Pelle: My horse is named Hugo. He is a mixture of unfitting blood, but his Knabstrupper ancestry luckily shows in the spots on his bum! He is the first horse I have owned, and he's been with me for 9 years. He is a thoroughbred at heart, and really dislikes fighting. However, he is very maneuverable, and very strong in his hindquarters. My friends tell me he is a nightmare to ride under difficult circumstances, and I am afraid I would have to agree! Still, he performed very well during this event, with only a few troublesome moments.

Per Estein Prøis-Røhell on Hugo fighting Luke Binks in the melee at St Wendel
(photo by Rozemarijn Keurning)

Please describe the person, place or thing that made the biggest impression on you when you first arrived at/during the days leading up to “The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel”.

Pelle: The thing that made the biggest impression on me, was the Norwegian flag over the arena, actually. However, I would like to point out that I have rarely enjoyed the privilege of being involved with so many strong personalities, without anyone beating their chests, or standing out more than the others! None were invisible, and none seemed to think themselves above anyone else.

Please describe one or two of your favorite non competition related moments during the time you were in Sankt Wendel.

Pelle: I loved the camaraderie with everyone, for instance the Artillery guys, who kindly took us in and shared their fire in a cool night. Also, every moment spent just hanging out with such a crew, is worth it's weight in, eh, steel...

Please describe one or two(or more) of your favorite moments during the competition of “The Grand tournament of Sankt Wendel”.

Pelle: I have three favorite moments, I think. First, the immense disappointment when Joram van Essen got injured, and I thought I would not be allowed to joust: I think that match has the potential to be epic! This was followed by huge excitement when Petter Ellingsen accepted the challenge and would risk head- hits in the heavy division! I feel we delivered a joust worthy of Vikings, and I actually shed a tear of relief: this is only my fourth tournament, and I was not sure I belonged in this crew, so please forgive my sentimentality!

Per Estein Prøis-Røhell jousts Petter Ellingsen at Sankt Wendel
(photo by Oliver Dunsch)

Second, or first, I cannot rank these: the last melee, with Joram – the human tank – keeping my back clear with many opponents! Totally epic to be a part of! The feeling of having a true knight protecting you so well, that you can utilize whatever ability you possess to really clean the field, is beyond my ability to describe!

Also, I encourage every competitor to closely watch how Luke Binks NEVER takes a cheap shot in the joust. He does not, in my opinion, jeopardize safety for points. And that is knightly too.

Arne Koets was chosen by the Ladies' Jury as the “Winner of the Prize for Highest Bravery”. Why do you think he was chosen?

Pelle: It is obvious to all why Arne was chosen: he did, as many have stated, lots and lots of stuff to NOT put himself forward, and rather promoted those he felt deserved it. This resulted in the ladies choosing him as the bravest!

Arne Koets dances with Rebecca Guldenring(photo by Rozemarijn Keurning)

Andreas Wenzel won the “Joust of the Squires”. What would you like to say about his performance during the tournament?

Pelle: It is my understanding that Andreas did very well with a horse that is not very easy to work with during the tournament. As a horse-trainer and riding teacher, I can very much relate to the challenges such a horse puts upon his rider, and the ladies made sure to award him for his hardships!

Even though he was injured and unable to complete the competition, Joram van Essen still won the overall tournament, in part due to other competitors contributing to his score. Arne Koets gave Joram enough of his own points to put Joram in first place ahead of Arne. Please explain how and why that happened and what part you played in this point exchange.

Pelle: The points exchange was, in my opinion, un-important! Chivalrous deeds rarely need points attached to them in order to show clearly, and if anything was clear in this tournament, it was that Joram van Essen was the most awesome competitor! Arne Koets made sure that there was no doubt about this, by giving away points the ladies had awarded him.

What would you like to say about/to the squires, ground crew and/or others who helped you during your participation in the GTSW.

Pelle: The squires and ground crew were impeccable. I never had to doubt anything about my horse being ready, thanks to Rozemarijn[Editorial note: Rozemarijn also provided many of the pictures for this article], and I was taken so well care of by Jack, that I hardly ever had to even spare a thought for my armour or weapons. Impeccable, and a fair bit awesome in itself. It is not easy caring for a stressed-out adrenaline-junkie with a half-mad horse.

Per Estein Prøis-Røhell gets help with his armour(photo by Rozemarijn Keurning)

What would you like to say about/to Arne Koets and the other organizers of the GTSW?

Pelle: To the organizers: DO IT AGAIN!

What would you like to say about your overall experience at the GTSW?

Pelle: Overall experience: I WANT MORE!

Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell at Sankt Wendel(photo by Rozemarijn Keurning)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Random Pic: Camel Jousting

Jouster Sarah Hay on a camel(photo by Eclecstasy)

This is Australian jouster Sarah Hay riding a camel at the "Blactown Medieval Fayre 2012". Will camel jousting become the new trend? What do you think?

(No, she did not actually joust on the camel. She just rode one in armour.)

You can see more pictures from the "Blacktown Medieval Fayre Jousting Tournament" here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The First Joust in Tasmania Held During the "Burnie-Wynyard Medieval Festival"

Written by Phillip Leitch with pictures by Lisa Leitch:

The first ever Burnie-Wynyard Medieval Festival, was held the weekend of the 15th and 16th of September. It included a mounted skill at arms(MSA) display, a melee and a joust by Australian jousters, Justin Holland, Wayne Riggs and Phillip Leitch.

Wayne Riggs(left) jousts Phillip Leitch(right)(photo by Lisa Leitch)

This was the first joust to be held in Phillip's home state of Tasmania, and it was very well received by the locals.

Phillip Leitch on his Friesian Stallion Valiant greets the public (photo by Lisa Leitch)

Two of the horses used in the event had never jousted in a public display before and stepped up to the task, as if they were seasoned veterans. Phillip's Friesian Stallion 'Valiant' stole the show with his impressive physique and presence. Phillip's wife Lisa was kind enough to lend the jousters her Australian Stock Horse 'Bounty', who had done the least joust training of the three, but he was ridden well by seasoned jouster Justin Holland, and performed brilliantly throughout the weekend.

Justin Holland on Bounty(left) jousts Phillip Leitch on Valiant(right)
(photo by Lisa Leitch)

The third horse 'Hood', owned by Wayne Riggs was shipped over by ferry especially for the tournament and put on a great display of speed and skill, truly a credit to his owner and rider. Wayne, when asked about his horse's breeding will tell you he is a "Mongrel", but whatever his breed, he was definitely worth the effort and expense to bring into the state.

Wayne Riggs on his horse Hood does MSA(photo by Lisa Leitch)

The joust was broken up with pieces of improvised theatrics where the evil "Sir Riggsy" would, chastise, beat and boss "Sir Phillip's" squire "Sam" around, and chase him down the lyst. Occasionally "Sir Phillip" would intervene, pursuing the evil knight or challenging him to further joust passes. The comedic performance of "Squire Sam" is something that the audience will surely remember for a long time.

"Squire Sam" is chased by the evil "Sir Riggsy" (photo by Lisa Leitch)

Over the weekend three joust displays were run and judged separately. Amazingly, each of the jousters won one of the displays! A very close competition indeed.

Justin Holland(left) jousts Phillip Leitch(right)(photo by Lisa Leitch)

It is hoped that the weekend will turn into an annual event, growing in size and involving more jousters in the future. Even so, for a small place like Tasmania, it was a great event that the organizers should be very proud of.

Phillip Leitch, Justin Holland and Wayne Riggs(photo by Lisa Leitch)

Many thanks to Phillip Leitch and Lisa Leitch for providing the text and pictures for this article.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Announcement for "The Tournament of the Phoenix 2012"

From a press release for “The Tournament of the Phoenix 2012”:

“The Tournament of the Phoenix”™ is a two day invitational jousting tournament where highly skilled jousters compete for the coveted Phoenix prize. This event is not a performance or re-enactment. This is a sports contest, the original 'extreme' sport. This year's tournament will take place in Poway, California, USA on October 26-28th. Six jousters from the USA, England, Canada and France will compete against each other in foot combat with axes, mounted melee and four sessions of jousting.

Jousters(photo provided by “The Tournament of the Phoenix”)

The popular “Festival of History” complements the Tournament, providing a host of activities for all ages and interests. Costumed interpreters inhabit fully outfitted period camps spanning Rome to the Renaissance. With live music as well as demonstrations from blacksmithing and falconry to glass blowing and gladiatorial combat, this event provides fun, food and excitement for all!

New for 2012
  • Skill at Arms competition – 8 West-coast competitors demonstrate their prowess with lances, swords, spears and other weaponry as they accumulate points in 9 events over 3 days.
  • Gladiators! – Watch authentically armoured gladiators fight in 2 demonstrations a day.
  • Glasswork – Stained glass and lampwork demonstrated on site.
  • Local artisans – This year, the tournament has made a commitment to assure most vendors are local artisans. Start your holiday shopping and support a local artist!
  • Pony rides and petting zoo from Zoo4You.
  • More than 8 registered charities have been given free spaces to spread the message about their focus: Make a Wish, Uganda education, animal rescue, historic horses, birds of prey and more.

The name of this tournament was coined during the first WorldJoust Tournaments™ event in October 2007. When the Witch Creek fires devastated Southern California, most of San Diego – including the event organizers and an early arriving competitor – were evacuated, and it seemed the event would have to be canceled.

A decision was made to put the event on anyway, and hundreds of area residents turned out to enjoy an entertaining day away from the cares and worries that had plagued so many. Surrounded by a sea of smiling faces, English competitor Dominic Sewell declared,”We thought the fires would defeat us, but instead we have risen, phoenix like, from the flames.” And so "The Tournament of the Phoenix" was named.

Since that first tournament in 2007, the event has grown, adding more competitions, displays and exhibitors every year. It has established itself as a unique and valuable opportunity for students and their families to experience history.

You can find out more about this event by visiting "The Tournament of the Phoenix" website.