The Jousting Life

Friday, June 29, 2012

Canberra Medieval Fair Seeks Jousters

Announcement from the Australian Jousting Team:

Canberra Medieval Fair and Tournament, 27th & 28th October, 2012. (This site apparently needs to be updated.)

Now taking applications for the joust and skill at arms/ melee. Competitors for the joust will need a suitable amount of experience. This event does have funding, and travel stipends will be allocated once the field of competitors is finalized. There may be some opportunity for interstate competitors to borrow a horse.

The event organizers plan to apply for IJL affiliation.

Email Justin Holland of Nova Hollandia Entertainment for more details.

Canberra Medieval Fair and Tourmament (photo from website)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jousting in the News: 6-1-12 through 6-21-12

*** recommended articles

Adelaide Now: Aussie jouster booted off reality TV show (article about Landon Morris being kicked off “Full Metal Jousting”, includes video)

Your Houston News: Bear Branch hosts Tournament of Champions
(EAFK performs at Bear Branch Elementary)

Lancashire Telegraph: Gallery: Great Harwood show hailed a success with record attendance (county fair that included “stunt jousting”)

This is Leicestershire: Show serves up monster fun (county fair where the Knights of Middle England performed a jousting show)

Lutterworth Mail: Knights will do battle (The Knights of Nottingham perform a jousting show at Rockingham Castle Medieval Fair)

Ottawa Sun: Valley News & Notes, June 7
(brief mention of jousters performing at Medieval Festival)

Your Local Guardian: Hundreds take to the streets in four-day jubilee celebration (Knights of the Damned jousting team perform at a local celebration of the Queen's Jubilee)

Florissant Patch: Renaissance Faire Offers a Trip Back In Time (mentions the risks of theatrical jousting)

Renaissance Faire jousting(photo from article)

This Is Kent: What are you up to this weekend? Take a look at 10 things to do in Kent (mentions jousting tournament at Leeds Castle)

Lehigh Valley Live: Sunsational: The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire offers entertainment for all ages (mentions jousting will be part of the entertainment)

Idaho Press Tribune: Ye Olde Renaissance Faire is this weekend at Eagle Island State Park (mentions performances by the Academia de Cavalaria’s Mounted Military School and Jousting Troupe)

East London Advertiser: Eltham Palace to host medieval jousting tournament (announcement for an English Heritage jousting event at Eltham Palace)

Jouster at Eltham Palace(photo from article)

Manly Daily: Joust great, world's best knocked off (article about Andrew McKinnon and five jousters from the US beating the European jousters in the French tournament Les Medievales de Neauphle Le Chateau)

Australian jouster Andrew McKinnon (photo from article)

Northwest Star: Turning back the clock at Curry Show (jousting at Cloncurry show features Rod Walker and Sarah Hay)

PJ Star: Jousting holds court at Olde English Faire (Shane Adams and the Knights of Valour perform at the Olde English Faire)

The Columbia Star: A Step into Kingstree’s Past, Part 5: Jousting, Lancing, Tilting (an interesting, but questionable, article about the history of jousting and jousting in America)

6-16-12 Joust Club Continues Tradition (actually about little kids tilting at rings, includes video)

PJ Star: Olde English Faire Gives Visitors a Taste of Life in the Days of Yore (jousting at a Medieval faire)

James Fairclough and Rob Combe joust (photo by Zach Nelson)

Blogs PJ Star: Medieval history holds court at Wildlife Prairie State Park (photos of Olde English Faire mentioned in previous article)

Boise Weekly: Catch One More Day of Ye Olde Renaissance Faire (the Academia de Cavalaria Mounted Military School and Jousting Troupe performs at renn faire)

The Academia de Cavalaria Mounted Military School and Jousting Troup (photo by Tabitha Bower)

Northwest Star: Jousting battle sticks with crowd (Rod Walker and Sarah Hay joust at Cloncurry and District show, includes pictures)

Jouster Sarah Hay(photo by Brad Thompson)

***Maxim: Modern Jousting (article about Rod Walker of Full Tilt Jousting troupe)

The Sydney Morning Herald: Wednesday, June 20 - PAY TV (brief article about “Full Metal Jousting” tv show)

Red Team Member from "Full Metal Jousting" (photo from article)

Midhurst and Petworth Observer: VOTE: Alright on the knight as jousts get green light (some of the legal issues involved in putting on a renn faire)

The Australian: Dangers of old (brief article about FMJ tv show)

***Simcoe Reformer: Simcoe man killed in crash was world-class jouster, artist (article about James Merrilees, a jouster who was killed in a truck crash)

James Merrilees
The jousting community mourns the loss of one of its own.

"His great personality and readiness to find joy and humour, as well as his strength and steadiness as a competitor, leaves us much diminished with his loss." -- Radar Goddard, fellow jouster

Monday, June 18, 2012

Video: Fun With Noble Cause

Admittedly, “The Jousting Life” focuses on competitive jousting, but that doesn't mean that the blood, sweat and tears involved in theatrical jousting should be completely ignored. Anyone who has done any style of fight choreography knows that it can be just as demanding in its own way as a sports competition. With that in mind, here is a video created by jousting enthusiast Paula Morgan featuring the theatrical jousting troupe, Noble Cause.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

In Remembrance of Kilvarough -- A Great Jousting Horse

On Tuesday, June 12, 2012, Matthew Mansour's jousting partner the Mighty, Mighty Kilvarough passed away. He was a truly great jousting horse and will be sorely missed by the jousting community.

Brian Clark shared this picture of Matthew Mansour and Mighty, Mighty Kilvarough (referred to as MMK) with the title "King of the Wind".

King of the Wind

"It [King of the Wind] is the title from a book that I read in the fourth grade. MMK always reminded of the story when you two took to the field." -- Brian Clark

"There is a special bond between horse and owner that is even greater between a jouster and his steed. They carry us, we rely on them as they rely on us. Once in awhile though there is a horse that surpasses even the normal bonds of knight and steed. There are those horses that leave an impression not only on the ones who love them but on all who are privileged enough to see them in their glory. One of the best jousting horses I've ever seen has passed. Matthew Mansour, Kilvarough will never be forgotten. We will all miss his beauty, spirit and dedication. May he ride on in the green pastures of the afterlife as his memory will ride on in our hearts. If there were a jousting hall of fame Kilvarough's picture would surely grace the walls." -- Angela Marie Keys Harris

"The joust won't be as magical without Kilvarough" -- Angie Young

"I'm so sad to hear this, seeing Kilvarough own the joust field always filled me with awe. He was a powerful, majestic, beautiful animal. He will be missed by many." -- Kat Brown

"As we connect and bond with our horses, they become part of us, an extension of our souls and spirit. Losing them is like losing part of ourselves. My deepest sympathy goes to you Matt." -- Steve Weems

"Matthew Mansour, you and your family continue to be in my thoughts today. I truly believe that our lives are not complete without the companionship of animals. You were very lucky to find such an amazing friend in Mighty, Mighty Kilvarough. He will continue to live on in your heart and memories until you meet again at the Rainbow Bridge. The loss of his presence will be felt by many. I feel very blessed to be able to have watched him perform for so many years at Bristol. My heart is with you during this time!" -- Anna Batchelder Kaufmann

Kilvarough and his family

"Dean told me today. My heart is breaking for you Matthew, as well as for your whole family. MMK was the most amazing horse--beautiful, powerful, smart, sweet, trusting and trustworthy, and a professional performer. I know a part of you went with him. Love, sympathy, and prayers are being sent from our family to yours. We love you guys. ♥" -- Wendy Murphy Farrington

"So very sorry to hear this. Always hard to see the great ones pass. So glad he got to be your partner for so long. I'll pour some out for him tonight." Richard P Alvarez

This photographic recreation of the famous painting "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" by Sir Frank Dicksee inspired by the poem of the same name was taken by photographer Ron Tencati with Kilvarough, Katie Morgan and Matthew Mansour as the models.

La Belle Dame Sans Merci featuring the Mighty, Mighty Kilvarough

"Sometimes...there are no words...only shoulders to lean on, hands to hold onto, and hugs to comfort you as best as they can. Sending Deepest Sympathy to You and your Family. Mighty Mighty Kilvarough will be missed. And his memories will live on in all our hearts." -- Stacey Lee Matthew

"The Mighty, Mighty Kilvarough sleeps. Go knowing you are loved and will be missed. My condolences to you Sir. Raise a cup of oats with his mates for me." -- Carl Kyle F

"Goodbye to the mighty war steed Kilvarough. I am so sorry for your loss my friend. An enormous hole was punched into the world of jousting today." -- Pamela Morgan

"I learned to ride on MMK. I remember the day all of my lessons hit me at once, it felt as though my body extended through his front legs and we were one. It was one of the most amazing feelings I've ever had and I'm sure I experienced it because he was working with me. He was such an amazing animal and I am sad to see him go." -- Timothy Allen Noel Chadwick

"My heart goes out to you and your family! Kilvarough was the mightiest war horse and the gentlest giant! Every life that soft muzzle has touched is fortunate and honored to have witnessed such a jousting team. There will never be another. RIP Kilvarough" -- Hannah Lynne

Savannah on Kilvarough

"MMK sure seemed to love jousting, the applause from the crowd and especially skimming that tilt rail like no other horse I've ever seen. You could tell also how much he loved you and your family and especially loved Savannah walking him out in the arena after the joust...he was always so gentle with her. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the pleasure of meeting (treating) and watching MMK in action, especially after all of the amazing stories I had heard about him. Much love to all of you!" -- Alison Gifford

Savannah on Kilvarough

"Kilvarough will always be remembered." Eileen Gifford

"Rest in peace, Mighty Mighty Kilvarough. May you run in forever green pastures with carrots that grow on trees. Our thoughts and blessings are with the Mansour family. We will remember him for the years to come." -- Hayl Daugherty

"He was a steed of unending might and great beauty. His memory will be proof of that, because none of us will forget him." -- Kate Biggerstaff

"I learned how to ride, and joust with Kilvarough. He was the first horse I 'felt' the connection with that made riding magical. Jousting opposite of him made everyone look better. I'm so sorry. Hugs." -- John Gruber

"Sorry to hear about Kilvarough. He was a joy to watch, an absolute beauty and always an inspiration even on the hottest Georgia days. RIP." -- Sarah Craig

"I was briefly given the privilege of feeding and mucking the stall of this gorgeous horse. He used to eat M & M's out of my shirt pocket. He'll be missed Matt. So sorry for your loss...but he leaves behind a tremendous legacy." -- Morgaine Taith

"I'll drink to him tonight. A damn fine friend, that horse. Shame I couldn't get one more headbutt from him." -- Alan Vuchichevich

"Ah, Matthew, we know what it is to lose a partner in this Ren life. When it's someone with whom we create the beauty that we throw into the crowd, it leaves a hole. May you keep him in your heart with gratitude, may you move forward with compassion." -- Susan Hickey Csikos

"I took this last year at Bristol. So sorry to hear about your loss, Matt. He was truly a beautiful, amazing horse. My thoughts go out to you and your family. Stay strong buddy!" -- Crystal Hanson

Photo by Crystal Hanson

"I am sorry to hear that my brother. The great injustice in our world is that our animals don't share our entire life.

A friend of mine once told me her theory is that they go first so that when we die we see them first, and because there is complete trust, we are not afraid.

I hope that is true..." L Dale Walter

"Sometimes it seems like we cannot tell our animal friends how much they mean to us, and this can make losing them very hard. But they do understand when they are loved, even without words, they understand." -- William Dezoma

Matthew Mansour and Kilvarough

"I still remember that day last year where the two of you were back behind the globe and you were sitting on a picnic table, and you put your head on his, and it was one of the coolest most moving moments I've been privileged to witness!" -- Robert Thomas Schmeling

"Rest in Peace, Mighty, Mighty Kilvarough. Beloved steed of Matthew Mansour , aka Sir Maxmillian, the jousting Earl of Braden. It was an honor to watch Kilvarough participate in the jousts of the Carolina Renaissance Festival. He possessed the body of a horse - but the courage of King Arthur." -- Ron Tencati

Matthew Mansour and Kilvarough

And from Matthew Mansour:

"I have read each and every post and email which has been sweet yet incredibly difficult. Kilvarough touched so many lives and in such a positive fashion.

He never faltered. He could be a wicked devil and an angelic teacher, all within the same 20 minutes. He could peel an experienced rider off on a tree yet my kids could effortlessly ride him bareback.

I loved that horse more than I could ever possibly say and I have lost a part of my heart. However I was so blessed to have found him as a coming 4 year old semi-wild punk. What adventures we have had!

He lived an amazing life. He traveled from coast to coast, performed for thousands and was adored by all, even the morons who seriously thought he was "half mule"...

He never got sick, never went lame. Once I brought him in for shoeing and as the farrier was working I notice some fluid inside his left hind leg. I go to check and he had impaled himself on 12 inches of a branch way up in his groin area while in the pasture. He did not even limp. Two weeks of antibiotics and it was like it never happened. "Tough as nails" does not even do him justice.

He suffered inept riders, endless miles of trailering, great variants in feed, crazy environments, 4 shows a day runs, 3 shows a day runs, 36 weekends of show seasons, heat waves, frost jousts, costumes, parades, millions of pets to his nose, and ME. He did it all with grace...if you had carrots.

He lived to the magnificent age of 24. He was a powerhouse to the very end. Classic Kilvarough where just a few weeks ago he performed brilliantly and yet gave me no ends of attitude, just like his whole life.

Rock star. Smart Ass. Partner. Friend. I am in your eternal debt for the sheer and utter joy you have brought me. Shag those mares and rest Mighty, Mighty Kilvarough, I love you." -- Matthew Mansour

The Mighty, Mighty Kilvarough

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Random Pic

A picture from the 2011 Gath of Baal jousting tournament.

Gene Martino Jr and squires(photo by DWRD Studios)

In Gene Martino Jr's own words, this is what happened:

"I was jousting Leland Coleman, got to the end of the list and could not lower or move my right arm. Lance had skittered across my breast plate, under the RIGHT pauldron and went between and through some of the lames. As I recall Knight Cody Powell even tried to extricate it to no avail. I exited the list, had the pauldron completely removed, but the show was basicall over before I was able to go again. Hence the term: "lame excuse!" I just felt like a bug on a stick! My horse was completely nonplussed and remained calm throughout." -- Gene Martino Jr

Feel free to suggest creative captions for this picture in the comments section for this post.

Also, if you have a picture you would like to submit to be a "Random Pic", please email TJL. Make sure to include the name of the photographer.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Jousting in the News 5-19-12 through 6-1-12

*** recommended articles

Sydney Morning Herald: Sirs lance a lot and get hit, too (enthusiastic review of “Full Metal Jousting on Australian tv)

Press Enterprise: RIVERSIDE: Medieval times come to campus (very brief article about Imperial Knights putting on a demonstration at an elementary school)

Daily Telegraph: Jousting gets a spike in popularity across Sydney and NSW (brief article about jousting at Blacktown Medieval Fayre)

Northampton Chronicle: Rural treats in Althorp entertainment (county show in Althorp that included the Knights of the Damned jousting team)

Northampton Chronicle: Hundreds enjoy annual country show at Althorp (this event apparently included knights on horseback and an “exciting jousting finale that included a woman’s bra and a pair of shades.”?)

Langley Advance: Renfest lives on: Organizers offer words of assurances to vendors, participants, and spectators that the 2012 festivities are happening (Mainly about renn faire politics, briefly mentions Ripper Moore of “Full Metal Jousting”)

The Tennessean: Miss the Renaissance Fest? Surely you joust (mentions the Gath of Baal jousting tournament)

Orlando Sentinel: What's new at Medieval Times and Wet 'n Wild (discusses new show at Medieval Times)

Andalusian does airs above the ground at Medieval Times (photo from article)

Press Citizen: Celebrating Renaissance: Annual Memorial Day event is considered Iowa's best family festival (mentions Knights of Evengard and an “enhanced joust competition”)

Press Citizen: Iowa Renaissance Festival to be Memorial weekend (Another very brief article that mentions jousting tournament)

The Tennessean: Gath of Baal jousting tournament starts today (very brief and innaccurate article about jousting tournament)

The Independent: Summer 2012: Family-friendly festivals (mentions medieval festival in Sweden that includes jousting)

Knights joust in Sweden(photo from article)

Easier Travel: Celebrate the Whitsun half term in Shakespeare Country (various activities around the UK including jousting at Warwick Castle)

***Scoop: Jousting to replace hockey (not sure if this is a serious article or not, discusses building a $2.5 million jousting field in New Zealand)

InOut: Getting Medieval on the Grass with a Lance (uploaded image of a print newspaper magazine, talks about Copenhagen Medieval Market which includes jousting)

Sierra Sun: War horses, knights, lances come to Camp Richardson (nice article about Imperial Knights jousting at Valhalla Renaissance Faire)

Derbyshire Times: Top jousting event at historic castle (video of English Heritage joust at Bolsover Castle)

Video from article

Friday, June 1, 2012

Paul Schneider Wins the Gath of Baal Jousting Tournament

The Gath of Baal Jousting Tournament took place Saturday through Monday, May 26 – 28, as part of the Tennessee Renaissance Festival. This tournament was hosted by the Free Lancers led by Roy Cox. Roy Cox did not compete in the tournament, rather he acted as a mounted marshal and was final judge on scoring. (Skip to the bottom of this post to see a simple list of the tournament results.)

Roy Cox carries in the US Marine flag on Memorial Day(photo by DWRD)

The Gath of Baal tournament included three different styles of jousting, Plankengestech, Welshgestech and Realgestech – a different style for each day of the tournament. Monday, in addition to being the last day of the tournament, was first and foremost Memorial Day. Instead of riding out carrying flags of their own heraldry, competitors rode out carrying flags representing the armed services that either they or their family members have served in. (click on pictures to embiggen)

(photos by DWRD)

Saturday was the Plankengestech competition. In Plankengestech, a secondary breastplate is added over the left half of the breastplate. It has a mini buff and wing at the top for protection of the neck and face. The target is that secondary breastplate. After three rounds of jousting(each round consisting of four pairs jousting four passes each), the winner of the Plankengestech section of the tournament was Paul Schneider.

Paul Schneider(left) jousts Charlie Andrews(right) in Plankengestech (photo by Kirk Hughes)

Sunday was the Welshgestech competition. In Welshgestech, a buff and smooth grand guard are added to the jouster's armour. The smooth grand guard is the target. After three rounds of jousting, there was a tie for first place in the Welshgestech competition between Gene Martino and Paul Schneider.

Gene Martino(left) and Paul Schneider(right)in Welshgestech(photos by Kirk Hughes)

Monday was the Realgestech competition. Realgestech is very similar to Welshgestech except that the grand guard is gridded, typically with 9 grids. The grids make it easier for the lance to lock into the guard and create a harder blow. The target is, of course, the gridded grand guard. After three rounds of jousting, Charlie Andrews, of the Knights of Mayhem, won the Realgestech competition.

Charlie Andrews breaks his lance against John Byington in Realgestech(photo by DWRD)

The points for the different styles of jousting were always awarded in the same way: 1 point for a touch on the proper target; 3 points for a lance break in front of the pennant; 5 points for a lance break beyond the pennant; 5 points to each knight for a tip to tip strike; and 10 points for an unhorsing.

The lances were all made using a straight piece of wood with a solid (not scored or weakened in any way) balsa tip. The pennant(a small fabric flag) was attached at the place where the balsa was attached to the wood.

Lances with pennants (photo by Lauren Renee-Zartman Martino)

Based on the points won over all three days of competition, Paul Scheider was the Grand Champion of the tournament.

Paul Schneider at the Gath of Baal jousting tournament(photo by DWRD)

Although the competition was real, since the tournament was part of the entertainment for the renaissance festival, the jousters used stage names during the tournament. Below is a list of the stage names followed by the everyday names of the competitors.

Don Martino Fernandez – Paul Schneider
Prince Killem – Charlie Andrews
Sir Barchan Jouster – Barchan
Sir Charles Howard – Leland Coleman
Sir Edward DeVere – Louis Martino
Sir Ian McFarland – Gene Martino
Sir John Byington – John Byington
Sir Rogan Lors – William Garrison

Several of the jousters at the Gath of Baal jousting tournament(photo by DWRD)

Grand Champion: Don Martino Fernandez with 120 points (Paul Schneider)

2nd place: Prince Killem with 114 points (Charlie Andrews)
3rd place: Sir Ian McFarland with 113 points (Gene Martino)
4th place: Sir Barchan with 102 points (Barchan)
5th place: Sir Edward DeVere with 99 points (Louis Martino)
6th place: Sir Charles Howard with 97 points (Leland Coleman)
7th place: Sir Rogan Lors with 87 points (William Garrison)
8th place: Sir John Byington with 55 points (John Byington)

Individual Style Winners:

Don Martino Fernandez (Paul Schneider)

Tie – Don Martino Fernandez (Paul Schneider) and Sir Ian McFarland (Gene Martino)

Prince Killem (Charlie Andrews)