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.
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.
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
In the team competition, the top two teams were:
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.
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.