The Jousting Life

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Holy Roman Empire Defeats England at Arundel Castle International Jousting Tournament 2012

The Arundel Castle International Jousting Tournament took place in Arundel, England from July 24 - 29, 2012. This was a team tournament with pairs of jousters representing the countries of England, Germany(Holy Roman Empire) and France.

Here are the results as posted on the Arundel Castle International Jousting Facebook page:

Day 5 of the tournament. After an outstanding semi-final seeing France beating the Empire by one point, the Tournament Final saw the Imperial Jousting Team facing England in spectacular fashion: England entered to Queen's 'We Will Rock You' while throwing roses and chocolate gold coins into the crowd; the Empire followed to Rammstein's 'Sonne', being heralded in by a stunning fire show.

After an incredibly close final joust, the Holy Roman Empire claimed victory by one point over previously undefeated England and are the Arundel Castle Team Champions 2012. Dom Sewell (ENG) achieved the highest individual score and is the Arundel Castle Individual Champion. Marcus Hamel (FRA) won the Hunting Skills competition. Join us in congratulating the victors!

Holy Roman Empire team members Wouter Nicolai and Andreas Wenzel
(photo by Gene Alcock)

Dominic Sewell (photo by Fiona Gallop)

Marcus Hamel (photo from Facebook)

Wouter Nicolai and Andreas Wenzel show off their prize rings in front of Arundel Castle (photo from Arundel Castle International Jousting)

Video of the Jousting Tournament at Nyborg 2012

A couple of videos of Ridderturneringen i Nyborg 2012(Jousting Tournament at Nyborg 2012).

This first video has more than just jousting, it also includes a scene of the tournament crowd singing "Happy Birthday" to Australian/Norwegian jouster Luke Binks.

(video by FinnBoeg)

A nice slow motion video of Norwegian jouster Petter Ellingsen tilting against Dutch/German jouster Arne Koets, organizer of the Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel.

(video by nyborgslot)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

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

News video of American jouster Steve Hemphill getting his helmet struck off by the lance of Swedish jouster Gunnar Cederberg during the European Championship jousting tournament (ECS) that took place last week in Denmark.

Video from

This tournament, called EM i Ridderturnering in Danish, took place during the week of July 23 - 27, 2012 at the famous Danish landmark, Spottrup Borg("Borg" means "castle" in Danish). The helmet removal by lance hit, which is reminiscent of a scene from "A Knight's Tale", occurred during the first pass of Steve's second jousting match during the finals on Friday. The helmet was so badly damaged that it was no longer usable, and Steve had to withdraw from the rest of the competition, leaving him in sixth place overall.

However, even though he was unable to finish the competition, Steve was still chosen as the "Most Chivalric European Champion" of the tournament.

The lance assisted helmet removal was not the only hard hit by a Swede during this tournament. Swedish jouster Klas Lundberg, who was the overall winner of the tournament, broke the shafts of several lances during the tournament, and although the tips of these style of lances are designed to break, the shafts are not. Klas also managed to almost punch a hole through the ecranche(a small shield strapped to the left shoulder) worn by Joakim Løvgren, one of the rising stars of Danish jousting.

UPDATE: Klas did not almost punch a hole through Joakim's ecranche; he did punch a hole through it... and dented the armour underneath.

Joakim Lovgen and Klas Lundberg with the damaged ecranche (photo by Asa Cidh)

Fortunately neither Steve, nor Joakim were injured during these incidents.

Many thanks to Petter Ellingsen of Ridderhest for sharing the link to the helmet incident video with TJL.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sweden's Klas Lundberg Wins European Championship Jousting Tournament Again!

This article has been updated. Click here to see update.

The hard hitting Swedish jouster Klas Lundberg has successfully defended his status as the best jouster in Europe yet again. This is his third time to win the European Championship Jousting Tournament(called the EM i Ridderturnering in Danish) in as many years. Although he was in second place at the end of the Mounted Skill at Arms (MSA) portion of the tournament, he came from behind during the first day of jousting and managed to win the overall tournament by the slimmest of margins, earning the right to keep the title of European Jousting Champion.

Klas Lundberg of Sweden (photo from Facebook)

This was the first year that the European Championship(ECS) was held at the famous Spottrup Castle. Many of the locals were hoping that the castle's resident knight, Ole Bach, would finally win the championship. Ole had finished third in two previous ECS tournaments, and although he did not win this year, he did improve his standing by coming in a very close second.

Klas Lundberg and Ole Bach jousting at Spottrup Borg (photo by Ronja Knightingale)

Denmark's newest jousting star, Joakim Løvgren won third place. An astonishing accomplishment for someone in their first major tournament.

There was some confusion as to whether Toin Peeman would actually compete in the finals because of the injury he suffered during his last pass of the semi-finals. Apparently, it was decided that Toin was unable to compete, and his place in the finals was filled by American jouster Steve Hemphill who was competing for the German team.

[UPDATE: There was actually a lot of confusion.  It turns out that the points earned for jousting were weighted more heavily than the points earned for MSA. Although Toin had more raw points than Steve, once the scores were weighted, Steve had actually outscored Toin -- despite not competing in his final match of the semi-finals -- and earned the sixth spot in the finals on Friday.]

Steve Hemphill had also suffered a slight injury on Thursday, and because of that, as well as the fact that his horse Cybil was extremely tired, he did not compete in his final match of the semi-finals. However, on Friday he had recovered enough to take his place in the finals. Unfortunately, in his second jousting session of the finals, Steve's helm was struck off by his opponent's lance and damaged beyond use. He was thus unable to compete further.

Despite all that befell him, or perhaps because of it, Steve Hemphill was chosen as the "Most Chivalric European Champion" of the tournament.

The top six finishers based on points for the overall tournament were:

1) Klas Lundberg, Sweden
2) Ole Bach, Denmark
3) Joakim Løvgren, Denmark
4) Petter Ellingsen, Norway
5) Gunnar Cederberg, Sweden
6) Steve Hemphill, United States/Germany

The top three winners for the mounted skill at arms(MSA) portion of the tournament were:

1) Ole Bach, Denmark
2) Klas Lundberg, Sweden
3) Sara Hay, Australia/England

Ole Bach competing in the MSA (photo by Spottrup Borgmuseum)

In the team competition, the top two teams were:

1) Denmark
2) Sweden

Although the competition was intense, the rivalry was all left in the lysts. Once their jousting passes were over, the competitors expressed their friendship and support of one another by clasping hands as they rode past each other. These gestures of camaraderie reveal the true spirit of the old/new sport of jousting.

Xavier Fauvel of France and Nicky Willis of England (photo by Ronja Knightingale)

Again, many thanks go to Broder Jakob of Spottrup Borgmuseum and Ronja Knightingale who have been providing me with the information and pictures for these articles.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Klas Lundberg Continues to Lead in the European Championship Joust at Spottrup Borg

This article has been updated. Click here to see update.

At the end of the fourth day of the European Championship Jousting Tournament being held at Spottrup Castle in Denmark, the defending champion, Klas Lundberg of Sweden was still in the lead. Hometown favorite Ole Bach trails by only two points. The two jousters are poised for a photo finish during the finals of the tournament on Friday.

Klas Lundberg(left) and Ole Bach(right)(photo by Ronja Knightingale)

Surprisingly neither of the overall tournament leaders actually scored the most points during the second day of jousting competition. Joakim Løvgren, a Danish jouster in his debut tournament actually outscored all the more experienced jousters during the semi-finals, earning him his place in the finals on Friday.

Sadly injuries have caused several other jousters to withdraw from the competition before reaching the finals. Female jouster, Sarah Hay, who is from Australia but was competing for the English team, was in third place overall at the end of the first day of jousting. Unfortunately, in the last pass of the day, her right knuckle was broken, ending her ability to compete in this years tournament.

Sarah Hay(left) and Darth Rimmer(right)(photo by Spottrup Borgmuseum)

During Thursday's semi-finals competition, Steve Hemphill, an American jouster competing on the German team, suffered a shoulder injury and had to withdraw from the competition. He had already earned 82 points, and who knows how far he could have gone if he had not been injured.

Steve Hemphill tilts at rings(photo by Spottrup Borgmuseum)

Toin Peeman of The Netherlands was injured in his last past against Nicky Willis of England. He had already earned his place in the finals, but it is uncertain whether he will be competing in them. The decision will be made based on how he feels Friday morning.

Toin Peeman receives medical attention(photo by Ronja Knightingale)

Currently, the list of the six jousters who will be competing in the finals is as follows:

Klas Lundberg, Sweden - 125 points
Ole Bach, Denmark - 123 points
Petter Ellingsen, Norway - 96 points
Joakim Løvgren, Denmark - 86 points
Gunnar Cederberg, Sweden - 85 points
Toin Peemen, The Netherlands - 84 points (injured)

[UPDATE: Apparently, although the raw points given here are accurate, the points earned for jousting were weighted more heavily than the points earned during MSA. Once the weighted scores were worked out, Steve Hemphill had actually earned a higher score than Toin Peeman -- despite not competing in his final match due to injury and a tired horse -- and therefore earned the sixth spot in the finals.]

And here are the jousters who competed in the semi-finals, but did not reach the finals:

Steve Hemphill, USA/Germany - 82 points (injured)
Nicky Willis, England - 78 points
Per Nerlund, Sweden - 78 points
Xavier Fauvel, Belgium - 73 points
Darth Rimmer, USA/England - 71 points
Luc Pettilot, Belgium - 71 points

With Klas and Ole so close in points, the finals should be an exciting competition. Apparently, Klas has been jousting so aggressively that on two occasions not only did he break the tip of his lance which is designed to break upon impact, he actually broke the shaft of his lance as well. (None of the injuries are attributed to his actions.) And with his hometown cheering him on, it is certain that Ole will be doing his best to finally win the title of European joust champion.

Klas Lundberg(photo by Ronja Knightingale)

Ole Bach(photo by Ronja Knightingale)

Many thanks go to Broder Jakob of Spottrup Borgmuseum and Ronja Knightingale who have been providing me with the information and pictures for these articles.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jousting in the News 6-22-12 through 7-25-12

I have gotten behind in posting "Jousting in the News". My apologies. I've omitted certain articles that only briefly mention jousting at faires that have already occurred. However, this will still be a rather long post.

*** recommended articles

6-22-12 Video: Knights re-enact medieval battles at Lincolnshire Show (video of theatrical jousting in England)

Webster Kirkwood Times: Dan Foss: A Knight's Tale (a very nice detailed article about theatrical jouster Dan Foss)

Dan Foss jousts(photo by Ursula Ruhl)

***Green Bay Press Gazette: Reflections and Directions: Jousting rides back, pokes the public's curiosity (interesting article about the rise in popularity of jousting)

Green Bay Press Gazette: Renaissance Faire back for third year
(theatrical jousting at a renaissance faire)

Quest News Northern Times: Knights' mounts are also jousting stars at Abbey Medieval Tournament (nice article about jousting that focuses on the horses)

Metro News: Knights of Valour ‘demolition derby of the middle ages’
(brief article about Shane Adams, host of the tv show “Full Metal Jousting”)

7-5-12 Art of jousting is alive and well in Eminence, Ky. (very brief confusing article that mentions a video that does not show up on my browser, does have a few pictures)

Broadneck Patch: St. Margaret's Jousting Tournament is Around the Corner
(brief article about Maryland style jousting aka tilting at rings)

The Guardian: Emma's Eccentric Britain: medieval jousting, Eltham Palace, London (journalist spends a day with a re-enactment group that does jousting)

Jousting at Eltham Palace(photo by Richard Marsham)

National Post: Gentlemen, unsheathe your umbrellas! Chap Olympiad celebrates all things eccentric about the British upper classes (Okay, it's not about real jousting, it's about umbrella jousting on bicycles, but the pictures are hysterical)

Queensferry Gazette: Let battle commence in Linlithgow (brief article about jousting event by Historic Scotland)

The Norwood Post: Norwood Ren Faire a success (article about faire where the Order of Epona horse troupe performed jousting)

Inverurie Herald: Medieval mayhem set for Castle Fraser (article about Knights of the Damned joust stunt team performance)

Knights of the Damned (photo from article)

Battlecreek Inquirer: Time to go Medieval, BlackRock Summerfest makes Middle Ages fun (article about a new medieval faire where the Knights of Valour perform)

***English Heritage: Knights to the tilt yard! Jousting at Kenilworth Castle (Nice press release about an English Heritage joust, includes some useful jousting terminology at the end)

Jousting at Kenilworth Castle (photo from English Heritage)

Northern River Echo News: Here & Now with S Sorrensen (an EXTREMELY negative view of his experience at a renn faire joust)

7-13-12 Jefferson Starship, Atlanta Rhythm Section lead musical lineup at Freedom Fest State Fair (mentions performances by Paragon Jousting)

The Spokesman Review: Taking another stab, Jousters relish roles in 18th annual Northwest Renaissance Festival (article about jousters at a renn faire) Three National Champion Jousters from Maryland to Accept Touch of Class Awards Two Champions Are Teenagers New To National Competition (about Maryland style jousting aka tilting at rings)

*** Going Full Tilt In History’s Extreme Sport (interview with Rod Walker about jousting in general as well as the tv show FMJ)

Full Metal Jousting (photo from article)

The New York Times: In Southern Sweden, Singing the Blues and Medieval Jousting (not really about jousting, but an interesting view of a Swedish renn fest)

Star Gazette: Summer Fun in the Finger Lakes: Renaissance festival a timeless site for fun (mentions jousting tournament)

***This is Kent: Past comes alive in lovely castles (describes various castles and mentions the jousting tournaments held at them)

English Heritage: Joust draws attention of world's media to Kenilworth Castle (mentions the possibility of jousting being at the 2016 Olympics)

Beausejour Review: Day time can still mean knight time (about Medieval festival featuring jousting)

Jousting at Cooks Creek Medieval Festival (photo by

Little Hampton Gazette: Horseback fun ‘joust’ around the corner in Arundel (announces jousting tournament at Arundel Castle)

7-23-12 FLANAGAN: Medieval case of the flu (brief negative article about FMJ and Rod Walker)

Langley Advance: Photos 2: Festival a challenge (unfortunate weather at renn faire where Ripper Moore and the Society of Tilt and Lance performed)

Klas Lundberg Takes the Lead in the European Championship Joust at Spottrup Castle

At the end of the preliminary round of jousting during the third day of the European Championship Jousting Tournament(ECS), Klas Lundberg representing Sweden was ahead of Ole Bach representing Denmark, by just one point. The ECS tournament is being held at Spottrup Castle for the first time this year, and Ole Bach, the hometown favorite of Spottrup Borg, was in the lead after the first two days of the tournament which involved two rounds of mounted skill at arms(MSA) competitions. At midday of the third day of the tournament -- the first day of jousting -- Ole Bach was still in the lead with 98 points.

Ole Bach's scorecard(photo from Facebook)

Ole Bach has come in third place twice before in previous European Championships which were held in Horsens, Denmark. Since Ole is the resident knight at Spottrup Castle, he and his fans were hoping that with the championship being held at Spottrup Borg, that this would be his year to finally win first place.

However, late in the third day of the tournament, Klas Lundberg managed to catch up with and surpass the hometown favorite. Klas Lundberg is the current European Champion, and it looks like he may successfully defend his title.

Klas Lundberg of Sweden(photo from Facebook)

Of course, there are still several days of jousting left, so it is possible Ole Bach will manage to regain the lead and finally win the championship that has eluded him in years before. It is also possible some other jouster may come from behind to surprise everyone and win the championship.

Ole Bach(left) and Sarah Hay(right) break lances in the tilt
(photo from Spottrup Borgmuseum)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Joel's Journey Toward Jousting

UPDATE: On 8-19-12, this post was updated at Joel Hill's request with a slightly expanded version of Joel's article.

"The Jousting Life" is pleased to announce that we have our FIRST GUEST WRITER. Joel Hill is an aspiring jouster and has written this article describing his quest to become competitive in this new/old extreme sport.

Joel Hill(photo from Facebook)
Joel's article:

My name is Joel and I'm new to the sport of jousting. I grew up in Norco, California and have been around horses for most of my life. I've always been a fan of contact sports with hockey being my favorite. Jousting provided the opportunity to combine my love of horses with my love of hockey, but unfortunately the shows that were done at Rennaisance Faire's in my area at the time were pretty awful and turned me off to the idea. But in 2009 that all changed when I got to see a side of jousting I didn't think existed. It was real competition, not some show.

The Beginning

For about 10 years I had been with a Renaissance faire guild called the Archers of Ravenwood. Their focus was medieval archery in the middle 15th century. In 2009 the group was invited to provide a historical archery tournament at the Tournament of the Phoenix in Poway CA. After watching the first session of jousting I instantly became a fan boy, which at 35 years old, I didn't think I was capable of doing. I couldn't help but be fascinated by the spectacle of it all. Listening to the announcers provide not only color commentary but historical information as well. It was a very real competition but a tribute to the historical styling in which it originated. The crowd was going nuts every time the lances broke, not because some barker told them to cheer or what to cheer, but because they were legitimately excited and into this event. By the end of the first day I was totally hooked and had to see if I could do this myself.

So on Sunday I approached the place where the competitors hung out between events. This was the first real surprise. My experience in the renn faire circuit is that the jousters duck out back stage when the show is over and that's where they hide until the next show. At this event the competitors were right there with the crowd and they were actively engaging in conversation with the public while resting and preparing for the next event. This is where I met Luke Binks. He was the one that told me that if I really wanted to do this, there really isn't any reason why I couldn't and gave me the information and encouragement I needed to get started. I really think if it wasn't for his words, I don't think I would have signed up for my first lesson.

Luke Binks(left) and Charlie Andrews(right) joust at "Lysts on the Lake 2012"
(photo by AzulOx)

Training begins

The tournament was in October, I didn't sign up for my first lesson until January. The reason was that I wanted to make sure that this was really what I wanted to pursue and not some over excited fan boy moment I was going to regret later. I signed up for classes with Jeffrey Hedgecock at his Knight School. Jeff and his wife Gwen were very welcoming and graciously answered all my annoying questions for weeks leading up to the class. The first day was a huge lesson. I signed up to learn ground crew basics and work my way up to riding. They put me on one of their horses later that day and helped me get my riding down again. It is absolutely amazing how much you can forget about riding when you haven't done it in 15 years. Frankly I was embarrassed about how poor my riding was, it was a wake up call, but Jeff was encouraging and helpful and because of that I signed up for another lesson. At his urging I also found an instructor for horseback riding lessons to better my riding when I wasn't training with him.

After 10 months or hard training, Jeff invited me to participate in the mounted skill at arms contest at the Tournament of the Phoenix 2010. It's very very different doing the games in front of an audience that is cheering for you. In the company of friends is one thing, but the adrenaline and intensity kicks up a few notches when you are in front of people who are watching you. I wound up doing much better than I thought managing to tie for second place in points. This just increased my drive, because now I know I can learn to do this and do a pretty decent job of it.

Jousting takes more than just being able to sit in a saddle and run in a straight line. The skilled jousters make it seem easy, but it is much harder than it looks. Jousting is the epitome of multitasking. You're riding a horse, holding a lance, aiming the lance, striking your opponent while being struck at the same time and then coming to a controlled stop at the end, all while avoiding giving your horse bad signals. You must maintain complete control over your lance, your balance in the saddle and your horse the entire time. Only a skilled rider can do this; unskilled riders are merely targets.

I've consider myself lucky having grown up in Norco, CA. I've met a lot of horse people, and those friends had friends for me to talk with about what I wanted to do. And that's when I was introduced to Becki who is currently teaching me to ride. Rebecca Cook has been in the business of horses for over 20 years. Halter, dressage, hunter jumper, racing, you name it, she's been involved with it in some form or another and has enough ribbons and trophies to blanket a couple of large walls in her house. She has a farm near where I live where she rescues, rehabilitates and adopts out horses, as well as giving lessons in various styles of riding.

Rebecca Cook with Joel Hill on Loretta(photo from Joel Hill)

It was Becki that found me my horse, a beautiful English Shire mare named Loretta. The previous owner had some personal tragedies occur, and for a couple of years he was only feeding his stock before deciding to just offload them all. Becki rescued Loretta from the slaughter truck for free and decided she would be perfect for me and my goals. She also has a pretty dressage stallion she wants to eventually breed Loretta to, so it was a win-win for both of us. And now I have a horse to learn to ride on and compete with when I'm ready. She's not fond of the games targets right now preferring to steer clear of them rather than getting in close enough for me to hit them, this will take some work and a horse trainer I'm not, so this should be interesting.

Money and Equipment

I'm learning that getting off the ground is much harder than I had expected. Jousting is an expensive sport. Well it is if you want to be good at it. Two key components of this are the equipment and the ability to ride. The most expensive equipment is the armor itself. You can easily find an online shop or some guy who promises to make you a custom harness for cheap, but it won't fit right and will be more a hindrance than a help.

Beauchamp Harness(photo unknown)
You need your armor to work for you, not against you. If you're constantly fighting to move in your armor, you'll never be able to reach your full potential. Cheap suits equal cheap materials, which equals more frequent repairs, which means, in the long run, the cheap suit is costing you more to keep in working condition than a good quality suit would have cost you at the start. In order for you to be an effective competitor, you need a quality suit, made from quality materials and made to fit you like a custom tailored suit, and this is expensive.

I'm not rich. I don't own my own business, haven't won the lottery (yet) and I don't have wealthy parents. So I'm stuck begging, borrowing, and saving to afford my harness. It's been recommended that I seek a sponsor or ten to help finance my dream. A veteran competitor named Lloyd Clark has even written a document that contains his recommendations on how to obtain sponsorships. It has useful information in it and has worked well for him. But obtaining sponsors is not an easy thing, in fact the only company that was willing to help is bound by policy to only give money to a non-profit organization.

My hometown is a cow town which means if you aren't roping, cutting or doing some kind of rodeo related activity, they aren't interested. Cutting edge or outside the box sports like jousting just aren't their style, and even worse, they have a negative image of the sport because of what they've seen on TV and at renaissance faires and dinner shows.

I found a donation site, that I thought I'd give a try. Seemed like a fairly decent way to utilize the internet to seek financial help for my dreams. So far it hasn't been terribly fruitful but I haven't had it up for very long. Also can't say I'm surprised, I am asking for money in a tough economy after all. I'm also considering a bank loan, but we'll see how that goes.

The Future

In the mean time I continue to ride and train at the mounted skill at arms. I've been training under Jeff for 3 years now and it's been great. I've been trying to learn all I can about the sport, the people and the inside pieces that bring a tournament together. Since I started training I have volunteered to help with the Tournament of the Phoenix. Last year I was placed in charge of the grounds responsible for making sure all equipment is in place and in good condition so that the events can run as smoothly as possible. I did my job well enough last year that they invited me back to do it again this year. And to add a little extra bonus to it, I have also been invited to compete in the mounted skill at arms contest again at the Tournament of the Phoenix! I'm very excited but also very nervous. While this will be my second time competing at this event, this will be Loretta's first time and we still haven't gotten her over her fear of the targets. Should make for an interesting event but regardless of what happens I intend to enjoy myself.

So that is my story. I'm extremely appreciative of Jeff and Gwen for their help and guidance throughout this, Luke may have given me the push I needed, but I would never be where I am now if it wasn't for Jeff and Gwen's help. To me they, along with Becki, are central to my success and I hope that I can repay that kindness someday. And I look forward to hopefully being able to take the field and cross lances with all the people I look up to that I have met along this journey. Time will tell.

Joel Hill practices against the quintain(photo from Facebook)

Ole Bach Still in the Lead after the Second Day of Competiton at Spottrup Borg

Ole Bach of Viborg, representing Denmark, is again the leader after the second day of competition during the European Championship Jousting Tournament at Spottrup Castle in Denmark.

Ole Bach competes in the MSA(photo by Ronja Knightingale)

Day two of the European Jousting Championship involved the second of the two mounted skill at arms competitions. In this second event, the competitors rode in soft kit -- non-armoured clothing that would be appropriate for the time period. At the end of the second day of competition, the same three competitors remain in first, second and third position:

1st place: Knight Ole Bach, Denmark
2nd place: Knight Klas Lundberg, Sweden
3rd place: Toin Peeman, The Netherlands

The remaining days of the tournament will involve the jousting portion of the competition. First the preliminary rounds, then the semi-finals, with the finals and the announcement of the tournament champion being the highlight of the last day of the Bishop's Market Medieval Festival.

You can read updates about this and other events on the Facebook page for Spottrup Castle, and you can read more about the European Championship Jousting Tournament in these previous articles on TJL:

European Championship Jousting Tournament at Spøttrup Borg 2012

Competitors From Around the World to Compete at the 2012 European Championship Jousting Tournament

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Lysts on the Great Lakes Invitational Jousting Tournament

The "Lysts on the Great Lakes" invitational jousting tournament will take place August 10 and 11 at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Belleville, Michigan, USA. This event is affiliated with a'Plaisance Ltd, the producer of the largest contemporary competitive jousting tournaments in the world, and is sanctioned by both the International Jousting Association and International Jousting League.

This tournament will be run as both a team and an individual event, and will include both mounted skill at arms(MSA) as well as jousting competitions. The jousting competitions will occur at 4pm on Friday and Saturday, and the MSA will begin at 1pm on Saturday. There will be a public meet and greet on Thursday, August 9, at 4pm during the practice session for all the competitors . The teams portion of the event will consists of the Knights of Iron Jousting Team vs the North American International Jousters Team.

The jousters for the Knights of Iron will be:

L Dale Walter
Dale was one of the first jousters in North America, beginning his career in the early 80's. After a long layoff, Dale returned to the sport in 2010 and jousted 29 days in 2011 across the USA and Canada. It is rumored that he is the “real" Tony Stark of Ironman fame as in addition to wearing a suit of armor, he owns a company that designs and builds military weapons systems. Dale lives in Howell, Michigan on his horse farm The Excalibur Horse Center where he trains his joust team “The Knights of Iron”. Dale's motto is: Aut Viam Inveniam aut Faciam ("I Will Either Find a Way or Make One")
(photo by Jay Baum)

Andre Renier
André Lee Renier began jousting in 1983, allowing him to merge his interests in history, science, and technology with his love of horses. A scholar, researcher and accomplished equestrian; he is a modern knight mixing his passions for history, horses and the games of antiquity. He is currently researching jousting and equestrian armor and working on a book on the history of horse training. Andre is the Director at WEC Institute, one of the nation's leading nonprofit, high tech, science and technology research organizations. Andre's motto is: Noblis in Verbi et Facti ("Noble in Word and Deed")
(photo by Dale Walter)

Kellyn Burtka

Kellyn has been riding and showing horses since childhood, and started her career as a professional trainer in 2000. She has always valued versatility in riding, and has competed in various equestrian sports including jumping, eventing, dressage, western pleasure, barrel racing and driving. She sees jousting as a new and exciting discipline for her and her horse to explore. Kellyn's motto is: Potius Ingenio Quam Vi ("Rather by Skill than by Force")
(photo by AzulOx)

Jason Edwards Monarch
J Edwards Monarch has wanted to be a knight since he was a child. He began this journey with brooms, trash can lids and tin foil cardboard armor at the age of eight. Over the years, he has worked at various Renaissance Festivals and medieval shows, done various sword shows, and started one of the largest LARP games in the mid-west. He is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and of the Ars Gladii western martial arts school. He has jousted professionally and for competition since 1991. He is also a member of the Team USA Battle of the Nations combat team for armored competition. An avid living history buff, he dabbles in almost every time period from the 1st Crusade to the American Civil War. He has appeared in television shows doing technical jousting and teaches European medieval combat arts. He lives in Michigan on a farm with a jousting school, along with his lovely wife, four children, several jousting horses, goats, dogs, cats, chickens and one ornery turkey. His motto is: Polleo Atqui Humilis ("Be Strong Yet Humble")
(photo by Dove Photography LLC)

The North American International Jousters are:

Steve Hemphill

Steve fondly remembers his father teaching him how to respect, train and ride the family’s horses. In the 1980's, he became interested in medieval and renaissance history while he was attending college, and in 2003, Steve decided to renew his interest in horses and to combine it with his love of medieval history. Since then, he has produced and competed in a number of medieval equestrian events around the world which showcased competitive jousting and other medieval equestrian sports. Steve is a member of the Board of Representatives of the International Jousting League and a level 2 Jouster with the International Jousting Association. He is the owner of a’Plaisance, Ltd. and the Executive Producer of the “Lysts on the Lake”. When Steve is not involved with jousting, he can be found competing in Dressage and Eventing. Steve's motto is: Unus sed Leo ("One but a Lion")
(photo by Jay Baum)

Nikki Fourtzialas

Nikki is a member of, and US Liaison to, the International Jousting Association (IJA), a co-founder of the New England Jousting Association (NEJA) and the Academy of Knightly Arts. Nikki competes in events with the IJA, NEJA, Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), and International Jousting League (IJL). She rides a 19.1 hand, 8 Year old Percheron named Grassy Notch Thunder Ripper(AKA Thunder), a big horse with a big heart. Professionally she is a desk jockey, Senior V.P. of a technology division for the financial services industry. Jousting and Sword fighting have proven to be great stress management tools in her life. Nikki's motto is: Tu Canis Est, Ut Omnes ("Is That All You Got, Dog")
(photo by The Jousting Life)

Jordon Heron

Jordan Heron has always been fascinated with things medieval, and his involvement in historical re-creation goes back well over three decades. Although interested in horses from a young age, Jordan was city born and raised, so he didn't learn to ride until relatively late in life, when he rashly bought a horse and quickly moved from pleasure riding to medieval gaming. Jordan's first joust tournament was in 2003. Since that time he has competed in seven countries on three continents. Jordan is a certified Project Manager by career, and his partner, Dr. Stephanie Campbell, is an anatomy professor and student veterinarian and they live in Dunnville, Ontario, Canada. Together they own Cricket Lane Farm, home to their equestrian activities: gaming, jousting, mounted archery, riding to hounds, quarter horse racing and, just lately, Cowboy Action Shooting.
(photo by Astrid Adelskold)

Dale Gienow

Dale Gienow is the founding president of the International Jousting Association – Canada. He has been jousting since 2004 and has run many tournaments in Canada. Dale enjoys many other medieval pursuits, including archery and the ancient art of falconry. He is a founding member of the Mounted Archery Association of the Americas and a Mounted Martial Instructor for the Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts. Dale lives with his son in Bracebridge, Ontario, where he owns the Muskoka Wildlife Centre and co-directs Chivalric Productions, a medieval education company.
(photo by Chivalric Productions)

In an interesting twist, during the MSA competition, the experienced jousters will act as ground crew for the less experienced squires and novices first. Then later, things will go back to normal with the experienced jousters competing while the squires and novices act as the -- so very essential -- ground crew. During the MSA, the jousters will compete wearing jerseys in the colors of their livery with their name on the back. These jerseys will be provided by the tournament.

The tournament will also provide each competitor with an ecranche so that all competitors will have the same size target to aim at. The ecranches will be painted with the competitors colors and will have their names on the front. The lances will be the standard IJA/IJL 8 foot shaped wood base with a 3 foot balsa tip. However, the standard rules have been modified so that points may only be scored if the lance hits the ecranche first -- no primary hit anywhere else will be scored. The scoring will be as follows:

1 point: if the lance hits the target
2 points: if the tip of the lance breaks but remains attached to the rest of the lance
3 points: if the tip of the lance breaks and falls completely off so that the coronel lands on the ground
There will be no points awarded for unhorsings.

Throughout the tournament, broken lance tips will be available in exchange for a donation to The Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund, which assists wounded veterans in the Michigan area.

For updated information on this tournament, check out the "Lysts on the Great Lakes" Facebook event page.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ole Bach of Viborg Leads After First Day of the European Championship Joust at Spottrup Borg

Ole Bach of Viborg, representing Denmark, is the leader after the first day of competition during the European Championship Jousting Tournament at Spottrup Castle in Denmark.

Ole Bach cleaves cabbage(photo by Spottrup Borgmuseum)

Day one of the European Jousting Championship involved the first of two mounted skill at arms competitions. In this first event, the competitors rode in armour, in the second MSA event, the competitors will ride in soft kit(historical clothing). At the end of this day's competition, the leader board is as follows:

1st place: Knight Ole Bach, Denmark
2nd place: Knight Klas Lundberg, Sweden
3rd place: Toin Peeman, The Netherlands

You can read more about the European Championship Jousting Tournament in these previous articles:

European Championship Jousting Tournament at Spøttrup Borg 2012

Competitors From Around the World to Compete at the 2012 European Championship Jousting Tournament

The Professional Jousting League Announces the Australian Jousting Team

The Professional Jousting League was started in Australia by well-known jouster, Rod Walker, the coach of the black team on the tv show "Full Metal Jousting". The mission of the Professional Jousting League(PJL) is to hold large scale professional jousting tournaments presented as a modern sport.

There will be space within the PJL for both experienced professional jousters and those aspiring to become professional. Unlike most jousting tournaments, those sponsored by the PJL are intended to be seen as a modern sport. Therefore sponsors' logos, banners etc. may be displayed on the tilt, the field and/or competitors caparisons if they wish.

The PJL has recently announced the formation of its first official Australian Jousting Team. The Members of the team are as follows(bios and pics provided by PJL):

Team Manager -- Michelle Walker
Michelle Walker has been riding almost all her life in multiple disciplines of equestrian activities. In 1992 when her husband Rod Walker decided he wanted to take up jousting, she thought he was mad, but went along with it and it wasn’t long before Michelle was training the horses to joust and getting her first suit of armour to participate.

Michelle began jousting at public events and it didn’t take long for her to want to compete with her first tournament at Abbey in 2001. Michelle got the joust/tournament bug and started to compete. In 2004 Michelle competed in the American Style in the women’s division at the Dragons Lair Jousting Tournament in Canada and followed this up by coming 3rd at a tournament in Norway, followed by competing in Sweden, but had to withdraw due to injury, then won the Australasian Championship in 2006 where she beat 7 men for the title and helped take the Australian Team to Victory. Michelle also competed successfully at Harcourt Park in NZ in 2007.

Unfortunately later in 2007 at a Jousting event, Michelle had a bad fall and fractured 3 vertebrae in her neck and due to this injury Michelle had to retire from the sport that she loved. Michelle now spends her time running Full Tilt, booking shows and organizing Tournaments in Australia. Michelle has wrangled horses and jousters for many years now and is looking forward to the challenge of keeping the Australian Team fit and ready for any challenges they take part in. (Photo Courtesy of Garry Davenport, Dragon Images)

Team Captain -- Rod Walker
Rod Walker is a founding member of the International Jousting Association and has dominated jousting since he began competing. He has won or placed in every tournament he has entered and has had a huge impact on jousting in the modern era. He has competed all over the world including spending a season on the toughest jousting circuit in the world, the full contact North American circuit.

He is also one of only a few jousters worldwide to have jousted in a fully historical joust using solid lances fitted with steel coronels both in 13thC historical harness (riveted mail) and in 15thC full plate. Rod is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable jousters in the world and is renowned as one of the best and toughest jousters in the world.

He is the winning Black Team Head Coach on the tv show "Full Metal Jousting" having trained the overall winner, the second place getter and the winner of the Teams Choice Joust. After spending three years off from competitive jousting Rod decided to enter the Blacktown Medieval Fair Joust at the last minute, and with no training under his belt, he won it by a huge margin and was only one lance from a perfect score for the whole tournament.

Rod rides in either a late 15thC Gothic harness made by Jiri Lucius or a spring steel Gestech harness made by Alex Scheibner. Rod's motto is: Dominus Suus Cognoscebit, "The Lord will Recognize His Own". (Photo Courtesy of Garry Davenport, Dragon Images)

Team Member -- Phillip Oliver
Phillip Oliver has been riding all of his life in the hack arena, before deciding that he would like to do something more spectacular with his horses. So in 2008 he joined Rod and Michelle Walker’s Jousting Troupe Full Tilt.

Since joining Full Tilt, Phillip has been training hard and has attended many of Full Tilt’s shows throughout Australia. Phillip has come a long way since he started jousting, and he took the jousting world by storm when, in his first jousting tournament, he came 3rd in the joust at the 2009 St. George’s Day International Jousts at IronFest in Lithgow (Australia) - more than holding his own against some of the world’s best jousters.

Since then Phil has competed in Australia and New Zealand, and he has since placed 1st in NZ and 2nd at St Georges Day Jousting in 2010. Phil loves to compete and enjoys entertaining the crowd at Full Tilt Jousting Shows. In 2011, he won both the St Georges Day Jousting Tournament and the Blacktown Medieval Fair Jousting Tournament. Phillip also placed 2nd at the Full Tilt Jousting Tournament (Australian Championships) in Bathurst in 2012 and 2nd at the Blacktown Medieval Fair Tournament in 2012.

Phil looks forward to attending tournaments around the world and showing his hard won skills. (photo by Michelle Walker)

Team Member -- Andrew McKinnon
Andrew McKinnon hails from Sydney's northern beaches and came to jousting later in life after a misspent youth as a rock and roll musician. Andrew is married with three strapping young squires and owns a communications company with his long suffering joust widow, Andrea!

In 2007 Andrew discovered that real jousting still exists, and after training with Rod Walker advanced enough to be able to compete in his first tournament less than three years later, despite having never ridden a horse prior to his 40th birthday! In his debut in Australia at the 2010 St George’s Day Joust Tournament, Andrew placed a creditable fourth, beating some of the world’s best. Andrew was a member of the victorious Australian Jousting Team in 2010 that defeated New Zealand at the Taupo Knights Challenge.

In 2011 Andrew, as Captain of Arms, returned across the Tasman to defend this country’s honour at his second Taupo Knights Challenge. Andrew won the Skill at Arms contest at Blacktown Medieval Faire, May 2012, this tournament also involved four individual foot combats with the longsword after each joust/riding session where Andrew won every session.

Andrew placed 3rd at the Australian Jousting Championships, Bathurst May 2012.
He was also a member of the winning New World Team over the Old World European Team, Neauphle le Chateau, France, June 2012. Andrew won second in the joust at the Winterfest Tournament in Sydney, Australia and first in the skill at arms. Andrew looks forward to developing his dressage skills and winning more renown in Australia and overseas.

Andrew rides in an italian spring steel harness circa 1460 made by Luke Binks. His arms are azure a wolf rampant argent. His motto is Malum aspice fatum, "Evil behold your fate". (Photo Courtesy of Siobhan Elliott)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Competitors for the Arundel Castle International Jousting Tournament

The Arundel Castle International Jousting Tournament will take place in Arundel, England from July 24 - 29, 2012. This will be a team tournament with pairs of jousters representing the countries of England, Germany and France. Based on pictures and video of previous Arundel tournaments, the competition will involve mounted skill at arms (MSA) and mounted archery as well as jousting. In addition to having prizes for the winning team, there will also be a prize for the individual scoring the highest in the jousting portion of the tournament.


Dominic Sewell
Dominic Sewell is a true pioneer of modern jousting, having been one of the first riders in Europe to gallop a horse into battle while wearing real 15th century armour in 1996, and one of the first to cross lances in the joust in 2000. He has dedicated his professional life to bringing the medieval warhorse back to life, selecting and training horses with historically accurate breeding and build for historical interpretation, film and television. Today, Dominic is one of England’s leading trainers of war horses and their riders. You can find out more about his work at his website for Historic Equitation Ltd.

Dom regularly competes in tournaments across Europe and America, and has represented England three times at the International Tournament of Arundel Castle. He has won the Individual Championship on two of those occasions, making him the clear favourite this year. (photo by C&J Willis Photography)

Stacy Evans
Stacy Evans is the producer of the International Tournament of Arundel Castle and also one of England’s finest jousters. Stacy has ridden horses since childhood on a competitive level. He progressed into mounted 15th century cavalry and tournament riding in 1999. He holds a deep interest in military horsemanship throughout history, and particularly enjoys recreating British Cavalry of the 18th and 19th centuries. This has led him to ride with the Queen’s Royal Lancers Display Team at last year’s Royal Military Tournament, in the presence of HM the Queen.

Stacy rides regularly for English Heritage and is the current holder of the Queen’s Jubilee Horn, the Royal Armouries’ coveted jousting trophy. He is very much on form this year, and will be very hard to beat. (photo from Facebook)


Andreas Wenzel
A former competitive sports fencer and skilled western martial artist, Andreas Wenzel moved from Germany to England in 2003. He began jousting two years later having joined Destrier, Europe’s leading medieval mounted display team. Andreas rides regularly for English Heritage and the Royal Armouries, and has won numerous tournaments in Britain. His most highly regarded successes include winning the Tournament of the Phoenix in California and the Tournois du Lys d’Argent in Quebec, making Andreas Germany’s most successful international jouster.

Andreas will compete for the fourth time at Arundel Castle this year. Despite his international success, both the team and individual championship of Arundel Castle have so far eluded him. He will be determined to change his fortunes this year. (photo from Facebook)

Wouter Nicolai
As a member of Stichting HEI, the premier Dutch display team for medieval mounted soldiery, Wouter Nicolai is one of the Netherlands’ top historical jousters. When he is not traveling across Europe to compete in tournaments, he works as a professional jouster and historical interpreter at the well-known Archeon Museum Park. This provides him ample opportunity to develop his knowledge about medieval horsemanship on a professional level. A skilled craftsman with a particular interest in 15th century saddlery, he will be competing in a saddle he built himself based on historic references.

Participating in the International Tournament of Arundel Castle for the third time, Wouter is known for his calm riding style and his very steady lance. Undoubtedly he will be a force to be reckoned with. (photo from Facebook)


Steve R. Gagnon
Steve Gagnon stands at the forefront of historically accurate jousting in Canada, having promoted the sport now for more than ten years. He is the creator and producer of Canada’s leading historic jousting tournament, the Tournois du Lys d’Argent near Montreal, which in a country devoid of medieval monuments, serves as a powerful inspiration about European history. Steve trains his own jousting horses and their riders on his farm in Quebec.

Despite having competed across Northern America and Europe since 2001, he has never jousted in England before. It is to be expected that Steve, a man of sheer strength and iron will, will do everything in his not inconsiderable might to take victory back home with him to the forests of Quebec. (photo by Pascal Ratthe)

Marcus Hamel
Marcus Hamel travels extensively from tournament to tournament in Northern America and Europe, and is widely respected in the international jousting community. At home in Quebec he is a core supporter of the Tournois du Lys d’Argent near Montreal, where he competes annually. A retired veteran of the Canadian armed forces, he is known to be a very fierce, tough and relentless competitor who, however, always prizes honour over victory.

At the International Tournament of Arundel Castle, Marc will joust in England for the first time. Later this year he is also confirmed to compete at the Tournament of the Phoenix near San Diego, California, another highly prestigious jousting tournament. Undoubtedly he will be setting his sights high at Arundel Castle – a competitor to watch closely. (photo by Pascal Ratthe)

For more information about the tournament, email Arundel Castle International Jousting.

Video blogs of jousting at Arundel Castle 2009:
Part one
Part two
Part three

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Arundel Castle International Jousting Reveals the Prizes for their Upcoming Tournament

The organizers of the Arundel Castle International Jousting Tournament have shared these pictures of the prizes for their upcoming tournament. The competition involves three teams of two jousters each. The teams will represent England, France and Germany and will take place from July 24 - 29 in Arundel, England. All of these prizes were created by Nicky from Gemmaus. Such lovely prizes make me wish that I could compete to win them.

The top of one of the team ring prizes. (photo from Facebook)

The rings to be awarded the the team winners of the joust. (photo from Facebook)

The motto in Latin,"Arundel Castle 2012". (photo from Facebook)

Order of Arundel – Individual Prize awarded to the highest scoring jouster. (photo from Facebook)

Close up of the prize for the highest scoring jouster. (photo from Facebook)

For more information about the tournament, email Arundel Castle International Jousting.