The Jousting Life

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Petter Ellingsen: Jouster at "The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel"

In case you don't already know, “The Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel” is this weekend. This tournament was probably the most talked about and anticipated tournament during the past year, and it is finally here! TJL has been interviewing those competing in the tournament, and jouster Petter Ellingsen managed to send his answers to the questions while actually en route to Sankt Wendel.

Petter Ellingsen (photo from Facebook)

According to the page listing the jousters of the “Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel”:
Petter Ellingsen is 37 yrs old and lives with his girlfriend and 3 kids on a small farm outside Oslo in Norway. He currently has his own company, Ridderhest, which specializes in horses for Film, television and events. Petter started to ride at the age of 24 just to be able to start jousting. He has competed internationally since 2002 and has jousted in 11 different countries around the world, both with balsa and solid lances.

How did you become involved with the Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel(GTSW)?

I've known Arne Koets for 10 years, and was invited to join when a spot opened up earlier this year.

What changes have you made in your equipment in preparation for the GTSW?

Fairly drastic ones. I've got a complete new suit of armor made by Danish armorer Per Lillelund Jensen.

Petter Ellingsen in his new armor (photo from Facebook)

What kind of specific training or practice have you done in preparation for the GTSW?

Mostly training to use the arret properly – so running at the shock quintain with both solid and balsa lances.

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

I'm riding Lux, a 9 yr old Lipizzaner gelding. I got him 2 years ago and have been training him towards film work and jousting since then.

Petter Ellingsen on Lux (photo by Onee Enerud)

What part of the GTSW are you most nervous about?

I'm not really nervous about anything. I'm here to break lances and hit my friends with swords and clubs. ;-)

What are you most looking forward to at the GTSW?

Same as above. ;-)

Petter Ellingsen at Gniew 2012 (photo by Marcin Lipinski/StudioA)

To learn more about "The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel", check out their website which includes both a German version and an English version.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Andreas Wenzel: Jouster at “The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel”

This Friday, August 31, is the first day of the “Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel” which will run through Sunday, September 2. Andreas Wenzel, who will be one of the jousters in this prestigious tournament, kindly took the time to answer several questions about his involvement in the competition.

Andreas Wenzel(photo from Pat Patrick)

According to the “Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel” website:
To experience what the medieval warrior has experienced has been Andreas’ aim for more than ten years. This has lead him to study the sabre at one of Germany’s oldest fencing clubs, learn and teach the art of sword play through all medieval periods, learn how to ride horses, and train with axes, hammers, glaives and bills.

After moving from Franconian Aschaffenburg to England, Andreas became part of Destrier – Europe’s leading medieval mounted display team – jousted with solid lances, and commanded a cavalry unit at Europe’s largest battle re-enactment at Hastings 2006.

Andreas participates in tournaments and competitions all over the world. His most important successes include the individual championship at the "Tournament of the Phoenix 2010" in San Diego, California, USA and the team championship at the Tournois du Lys d'Argent 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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

GTSW is organized and directed by Arne Koets, who is a good friend and long-time comrade-in-arms to me. I first met him at a show in Holland when starting out on the jousting circuit in 2005. He was my partner for the first outing of the Imperial Jousting Team at "Arundel Castle 2009", and we were team mates representing the Old World at the "Tournois Du Lys d’Argent" in Quebec last year. It is my impression that Arne took great care when selecting the initial GTSW team, so I was immensely honoured when he involved me and several other Destrier team members at the very beginning of the GTSW project.

What changes have you made in your equipment in preparation for the GTSW?

Six of the jousters will be competing in a joust of peace, using either specific Gestech harness or modified field harness with frogmouth helmets or grand bascinets with tilting visors. I however am one of two competitors who will be participating in a joust of war, i.e. using regular field harness without special modification to the helmet. Therefore the modifications I had to make to my regular gear are fairly minor.

I have commissioned an arret (lance rest) for my cuirass, which was a piece I was missing as we don’t usually use these when jousting with balsa tips. For solid lance jousting however an arret is indispensable. I have picked a German hinged arret design from a 1470s effigy, and am very pleased with how it turned out.

The hand icon is pointing at the arret(photo from Andreas Wenzel[modified by TJL])

I have also sourced a larger and much heavier jousting shield, as they are typically used for historic solid lance jousting nowadays. The shape and size for this is based on a late 15th century German original from Marburg, which is pretty close to my home town of Aschaffenburg.

Andreas Wenzel with large German jousting shield(photo from Andreas Wenzel)

What kind of specific training or practice have you done in preparation for the GTSW?

The GTSW project is heavily influenced by Arne’s work at the Prince’s Court Riding School in Bueckeburg(Fürstliche Hofreitschule in Bückeburg), which is arguably the centre for baroque haute ecole horsemanship in Germany. Arne has managed to secure the Court Riding Master, Wolfgang Krischke, to support the project, and several of the horses at St. Wendel are top shots from Bueckeburg or have been trained there. So the standard of horsemanship we are aspiring to is astronomical, and has had to be the absolute focus for everybody’s preparation.

Hofreitmeister(Riding Master) Wolfgang Krischke on Olymp, a Knabstrupper stallion that will be one of the horses in the tournament (photo by Neils Stappenbeck)

My first exposure to this was a weekend workshop organized at Dominic Sewell’s yard (Historic Equitation) in England last year, where Arne and Wolfgang met the UK-based competitors and their horses for some initial training. Being schooled by Wolfgang, and then seeing him ride some of Dom’s most challenging horses, was, and I am not understating, a profound revelation for me.

I think everybody in the team has made at least one pilgrimage to Bueckeburg to get a better feeling for what the Riding School is about. I did this early this year, and was frankly blown away by the incredible capability of the horses and the riders at the place. I was privileged to be given lessons by Wolfgang Krischke himself and Court Schooling Rider Rebecca Güldenring on a selection of horses in the frame for GTSW – an experience which transformed my approach to riding horses profoundly.

I left Bueckeburg that time with my horse’s name on paper for GTSW and a list of issues to work on back in England. I then booked myself a large number of private longing lessons with intent to remedy a few physical training issues (lower back flexibility) and re-balance my seat – all as per Wolfgang’s instructions. When I returned to Bueckeburg for a second weekend of lessons, I was able to ride my designated horse in armour for the first time and break my first lances while riding him.

So, as you can see, the focus of preparation has been on horsemanship. I am not alone here – some of the other competitors have spent far more time at Bueckeburg than I have, using this exceptional resource to school themselves and their horses for GTSW.

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

I will be riding Sigismund, a Spanish stallion stabled at the Court Riding School in Bueckeburg, but owned by Arne Koets. Sigismund is still in his earlier training stages at Bueckeburg, and does not yet have the athletic capabilities and repertoire of a fully trained baroque show horse. However, I know him as immensely willing, incredibly bright and talented, and BY FAR capable enough to push my horsemanship to and beyond its limits. I am hugely proud and honoured to be trusted with him for the tournament, and will do my very best to not embarrass him.

What part of the GTSW are you most nervous about?

I have been part of the Destrier pro team which pioneered historic solid lance jousting with Gestech harnesses in 2008 and 2009 for English Heritage. As a result I am not feeling too worried about the prospect of using solid lances and sharp steel coronels – although I do of course retain a healthy respect for the dangers of what we’re about to do.

Steel coronels from unfinished(right) to finished(left) by Red Hart Reproductions
(photo by Luke Binks)

I am definitely most nervous about riding Sigismund well – riding a horse as sensitive and highly schooled as he is, while having to cope with field harness, a solid lance jousting shield and arret will be a tremendous challenge. GTSW has been specifically advertised to the horse community in Germany, which is very critical – not a forgiving environment.

Also, despite all my show and competition experience worldwide, I have never actually ridden a horse in a show in my home country. Let alone a highly trained Spanish stallion. In full armour. During a solid lance joust.

What are you most looking forward to at the GTSW?

GTSW will be a real medieval tournament. There are no shortcuts, no stops to be pulled out. It’s the real thing in every respect for the first time since the 16th century. That is what I always wanted to do – it’s the fulfillment of a dream. It is a unique opportunity, and being one of ten people world-wide to be given the opportunity to participate in this is simply mind-blowing. I will need almost every martial skill I have ever learned – it’s like the end-game, the culmination of 15 years in medieval re-enactment and martial arts. Whatever happens, I expect this to be one of the key experiences in my life. We will tread the paths our forefathers walked, behold the sights they saw, do the deeds they did.

Andreas Wenzel (photo from Facebook)

To learn more about "The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel", check out their website which includes both a German version and an English version.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Luke Binks: Armourer and Jouster at “The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel”

“The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel” begins this Friday, and everyone involved with it is gearing up for the big event. Jouster and armourer Luke Binks managed to find a few minutes to answer several questions about his involvement with the tournament.

Luke Binks (photo from Facebook)

According to the “Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel” website:
Luke Binks is Australian born and bred with a life long passion for Knights and the middle ages. Wanting to learn more than he could read in books, Luke started to make armour, learn to fight and ride horses in 2002.

By the following year Luke was competing in his first joust. Since then, Luke has competed in tournaments in over 10 different countries across the globe in search of like minded people and the ultimate pass with a lance.

According to Arne Koets, the organizer of the “Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel”(GTSW), Luke Binks is not only a jouster in this competition, he was also heavily involved in preparing for the event. In addition to making “loads of armour”, he rode and trained several horses to prepare them for the tournament. He also moved from Australia to Norway, and although the move was not purely for the GTSW, it did make it easier for him to help with the tournament.

How did you become involved with the "Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel"(GTSW)?

Luke: I was just invited to the event rather early on. Toby, Arne and I were the first to try this style of jousting, so I presume that we were first on the list for the organizers.

What changes have you made in your equipment in preparation for the GTSW?

Luke: I haven't made too many changes to my equipment. Although I have made a new Frog mouth helm, which was compulsory, and had a custom jousting saddle built. Both of which are only just finished on time and not tested. Also a few other things that we do often, like a new caparison, shield etc...

Just a quick note about the lances. The lances are just trees. Young trees that have been cut down and let dry, then prepared at the butt end for the grapper to fit on. They vary from 60-70mm at the hand area, tapering to 35mm at the tip end. Just thought you may like to know that little part, we are going to joust with trees.

Luke comments while Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell(Pelle), another jouster who will be competing at Sankt Wendel, breaks a lance against the shock quintain
(video by Luke Binks)

What kind of specific training or practice have you done in preparation for the GTSW?

Luke: We have done a lot of training for this event. We started specific training for the event early in the year to make sure our horses and us were ready. We do a lot of dressage, and a lot of shock quintain work with the solid lances to get familiar with the different sort of impact. I wish I had more time over the last month to train, but the daily training we did earlier in the year will pull us through.

Luke Binks practices breaking solid tapered lances against a shock quintain
(video from Luke Binks)

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

Luke: My horse's name is Misty(actually my girlfriend's horse). Although not a very tough war horse name, he is a good horse. This is his first season as a jousting horse as he is fairly young at 6. He is a Norwegian warmblood, but not built like a typical warmblood. He is 155cm high, rather stocky and of a very tough nature. He doesn't look like most of the other horses as he won't move when told to by other horses, and always is covered in scratches and bites from fighting. But that toughness and resilience makes him handle the mounted combat rather well. It is also the thing that I love and hate about him.

What part of the GTSW are you most nervous about?

Luke: I don't think I'm nervous about any of it really. I would have liked to have my new gear done earlier so I could have trained in it, but even that doesn't concern me that much.

What are you most looking forward to at the GTSW?

Luke: The social side is something I'm really looking forward too, as the whole crew here is a massive bunch of the most amazing people that I don't get to see often enough. But I'm also really looking forward to getting in there and smashing some stuff up!!!!

Luke Binks, Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell and others practice mounted combat
(video from Luke Binks)

To learn more about "The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel", check out their website which includes both a German version and an English version.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Arne Koets: Tournament Organizer and Jouster at the "Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel"

Several of the jousters competing at the “Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel” were kind enough to take time out of their preparations for the tournament to respond to a few questions I sent them. Despite his insanely busy schedule, Arne Koets was one of the first to respond.

Arne Koets (photo from Facebook)

According to the information posted on the “The Knights” page of the “Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel” website:
Arne has been interested in military history as long as he can remember. At the tender age of 16, he started sword fighting, and in 2000, was one of the founding members of the Stichting Historisch Educatief Initiatief, a foundation promoting education through living history.

In 2001, he started riding and rode his first joust in spring 2002. This launched his jousting career, and he was a member of the winning ‘Burgundians’ team in 2003 and 2005 at the prestigious “Sword of Honour Tournament”. In 2004, he turned full time jouster, and in 2006 moved to the Royal Armouries in Leeds to work as a full time jouster and cavalry display rider. In 2007, he won the ‘Queens Jubilee Horn Trophy’.

In 2009, he moved back to Holland to work at the Royal Dutch Army Museum as a project manager and continued his work as a jouster, sword fighter and fight choreographer. In 2011, he moved to Germany to work at the Fürstliche Hofreitschule in Bückeburg as the curator for the pre-baroque period, and to join their riding team. He has ridden in over 1500 shows in a dozen countries on three continents in his career.

As you will find out in this interview, Arne Koets is not only one of the jousters in the "Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel", he is also the one in charge of organizing the competition.

How did you become involved with the "Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel"(GTSW)?

Arne: I got involved when I organized a set of lectures and a book publishing at the Legermuseum in Delft when I was Project manager for events there. I invited Dr. Tobias Capwell as well as Dr. Alfred Geibig. Afterwards, we had a very nice dinner with all the curators there. The directors really couldn't make it, so it was up to me to entertain the visiting dignitaries and try to keep up with the academic conversation. I seem to have done a good job because they kept asking if I was medieval curator.

Anyway, Herr Dr. Geibig had been approached by the city of Sankt Wendel and knew about Tobias Capwell's exploits. Toby, however, suggested I pick up the project due to his personal plans, my proximity, my connections in horse training, etc... So we decided to do it this way: Toby was invited, but I would organize the show.

The dinner was around two years ago. I moved to Germany in May 2011, and the dinner was in June, I think. How time flies. I calculated it has taken me at least 5000 hours of dedicated work, and I am not alone. Luke Binks did loads of armouring. I've been hitting 16 hours days for months now. It is exhausting.

What changes have you made in your equipment in preparation for the GTSW?

Arne: I mostly got a lot done that I meant to do for a long time:
-got a custom made medieval war saddle made (in fact two of them)
-made medieval barding with gilt fittings
-fitted a new crest
-made a new mantling
-had a new saddle blanket made
-made a new caparison
-ordered 9 swords
-made 10 melee clubs
-made two new shields
-had a set of 117 lances made
-had a set of 86 coronels and grapers made
-bought two new horses
-moved to Germany
-borrowed a helmet
-had a banner made
-bought a horse-stable-tent

What kind of specific training or practice have you done in preparation for the GTSW?

Arne: I spent two years as an apprentice at the Fürstliche Hofreitschule in Bückeburg, learning to ride and train to a completely different level, with the legerete in mind – the lightness of the aides.

I trained side movements, canter pirouettes, canter lead changes, passades and Spanish walk in particular, but also had the huge honour to ride terre a terre, mezair, backwards mezair, even piaffe and passage on the school's stallions. This helped me immensely to develop my 'inner image' of collection.

I spent hours on a shock quintain (target) with a target 130x120 mm. I trained to run the run in traverse canter, with an arret, graper, frogmouth and long, heavy solid lance up to 70 mm thick. (On average the lances used at Sankt Wendel are 37 mm at the coronel and 50-70 mm at the base, and made out of small pine trees. Grown taper is known in construction to be much tougher then cut timber)

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

Arne: My horse is called Maximilian. I ride him up to twice a day, at least 6 days a week. I have only had him since August last year. He is still a young boy at 6 years old (only just turned six). We spent a lot of time making a bond. Grooming, and riding of course, but also just hanging out, cuddling, doing exercises on the ground, playing with a large ball, etc... When traveling, he really looks for me for company. Max can be belligerent at times, and has a strong will, but now has become a reliable steed as his performances in Denmark, England and Germany have shown.

Arne Koets and his horse Maximilian(photo from Facebook)

What part of the GTSW are you most nervous about?

Arne: Do I get to pick only one thing to be nervous about?

I suppose all eyes will be on what we do, especially in Germany. we tried to take this opportunity to really up the level of riding. We spent a lot of time working with the guys, and flying around Europe to get things going. We made huge headway in the last two years, but learning to ride like this is a never-ending process, so we are still fallible. I suppose I want everything to look super smooth, and every horse to be the epitome of lightness. I suppose I do worry about the photo where a horse's nose dips behind the vertical that one moment, unintended, and people use that to call us names, for instance... But maybe I shouldn't worry and just get on with it. [Editorial note: Rolkur or hyperflexion of the neck (where the horse's nose is consistently pulled behind the vertical and sometimes all the way to the horse's chest) is a type of “training” used by certain people who compete in English riding styles that is considered cruel and inhumane by many in the equestrian community.]

What are you most looking forward to at the GTSW?

Arne: I'm looking forward to doing a real tournament like it used to be: real lances, real armour, real saddles, real horses, and a real melee. I think the melee is going to be very much fun. I hope we can show with the horses we have now, at the level they are now, that knightly riding can be so much more. But also how we have only just started to develop in this direction, and how it will change the image of the tactical ability of knights.

Alix van Zijl, Toby Capwell, Arne Koets and Joram van Essen, all of whom will be competing at Sankt Wendel(photo from Facebook)

You can learn more about Arne Koets on his website.

You can find out more about the "Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel" on their website which includes both a German version and an English version.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Museum of Sankt Wendel Opens Exhibit About Jousting Tournaments in Preparation for "The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel"

The most talked about and anticipated jousting event of the year will soon occur. "Das große Turnier in Sankt Wendel" ("The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel") will take place Friday, August 31 – Sunday, September 2, 2012 in the historic German city of Sankt Wendel(Saint Wendel).

(promo video from the Museum of Sankt Wendel, produced by Ben van Koert)
(You can see the video with an English translation of the information about the video by following this link.)

For those who live near Sankt Wendel or those lucky enough to be attending the tournament, the Museum of Sankt Wendel has created a special exhibit about jousting tournament styles and their development over the past 500 years titled "Wenn Lanzen Brechen: Ritterliche Turniere Damals und Heute"("When Lances Break: Knightly Tournaments Past and Present"). The exhibit runs from June 29, 2012 through September 9, 2012. (photo from the Museum of Sankt Wendel website)

The exhibit includes a great deal of written information about jousting tournaments including a glossary of terms useful in discussing jousting. Basically the exhibit aims to teach visitors everything they need to know to understand and appreciate the upcoming "Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel".

Museum patrons read information about jousting tournaments(Photo from the Museum of Sankt Wendel website)

The exhibit displays a number of valuable artifacts on loan from the arms & armour department of the Kunsthistorisches Museum(Museum of Fine Arts) in Vienna.

Frog mouth helm and other armour(Photo from the Museum of Sankt Wendel website)

Antique jousting toys(Photo from the "Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel" website)

The exhibit also includes two of the prizes to be awarded at the tournament.

Prize for jousting(Photo from the "Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel" website)

Prize for Highest Bravery (Click on the smaller pictures to embiggen)
(Photo from the "Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel" website)

These prizes were hand crafted by Ralf Braune of Messerthuringia. Ralf Braune also manufactured the "Willkommen" Horn, an impressive vessel, which will be used to offer the competitors who are particularly successful in the joust or melée a drink of honour.

"Willkommen" Horn(Photo from the Messerturingia website)

You can see more pictures from the opening of the jousting tournament exhibit in this Photo Gallery.

To learn more about "The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel", check out their website which includes both a German version and an English version.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rope Myers Wins the “Taking the Reins: Full Metal Jousting Armored All-Star Challenge”

This past weekend eight jousters from the reality tv show “Full Metal Jousting” had the chance to compete against each other again as a part of the event “Taking the Reins”. This event, which took place at the Alliance Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin, featured a variety of equine activities including the “Full Metal Jousting Armored All-Star Challenge” jousting tournament.

Jousting at the Full Metal Jousting Armored All-Star Challenge
(photo by Paul Reese/Taking the Reins)

The jousters and the horses who participated in the tournament were:
James Fairclough on Harland
Joe McKinley on Jefferson
John Stikes on Phantom
Josh Avery on Cheval
Josh Knowles on Jake
Matt Hiltman on Jill
Nathan Klassen on Derby
Rope Myers on Billy

It was an exciting tournament that included several unhorsings.

Josh Knowles is unhorsed by Rope Myers(photo by Paul Reese/Taking the Reins)

And Rope Myers received a nasty cut on his chin.

Rope Myers smiles as he displays the gash on his chin(photo by James Fairclough)

Trainer Ripper Moore commented on Myers' injury:
"When I raised his bevor, the blood that had pooled there poured over the top of the helm. Then of course I had to close it again. Not comfortable, and this was only halfway through the evening. Way to cowboy up, Rope!" -- Ripper Moore

The tournament also included a timed “Gauntlet Race” that was a type of Mounted Skill at Arms course.

Joe McKinley tilts against the quintain as part of the Gauntlet Race
(photo by Paul Reese/Taking the Reins)

Rope Myers ended up winning the jousting portion of the tournament and was awarded a trophy and a check for $10,000. Matt Hiltman earned second place($5000), Josh Knowles came in third($3000) and James Fairclough, fourth($1000).

Rope Myers(center) with Rhonda Reese(left) and Troy Brick-Margelofsky(right)(photo by Paul Reese/Taking the Reins)

In addition to placing fourth in jousting, James Fairclough also won $1000 for winning the Gauntlet Race.

James Fairclough(right) with Jill Schroeter(left)(photo by Paul Reese/Taking the Reins)

You can see more pictures from the tournament in the Taking the Reins Facebook photo albums.

Many thanks to "Taking the Reins", Paul Reese and James Fairclough for providing information and pictures.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Joust For Fun: IIWTBAKD2

Originally posted at 1:00am GMT (Friday, 17-8-2012 in most of Europe)
UPDATED at 12:01am CST-USA

The second annual "International I Want To Be Arne Koets Day" has arrived. If you don't know who Arne Koets is, he is a highly respected European jouster (who apparently has a great sense of humor). He is also a curator at the Fürstliche Hofreitschule Bückeburg. You can find out more about this world wide event on the IIWTBAKD Facebook page.

For today and today only, everyone in the jousting community is asked to change their Facebook profile pic to a picture of Arne Koets. This event was inspired by a pretender who posted a picture of Arne Koets jousting and claimed that it was a picture of himself. Thus began the first IIWTBAKD. If you look through the pictures posted in the IIWTBAKD Facebook album, you can see how artistically talented Arne Koets's Photoshopped Arne images onto various works of art and photographs.

It is also encouraged that you temporarily change your name to Arne Koets, and if you interact with other members of the jousting community that you refer to each other as Arne Koets. For example, conversations might proceed thusly:
"Hello Arne",
"Why hello Arne",
"Ooh look there's Arne, being followed by a mob of Arne's"....
Have fun with it, it's all in jest(or should that be joust).

So here's to you, Arne Koets!(and all of you other Arne Koets's)

I hope you have a wonderful day...

...and fully enjoy the respect and admiration given to you by the jousting(or should that be jesting) community.

(All pictures were borrowed from Facebook)

Signed,sealed and posted by me, Arne Koets(for today, anyway).

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jordan Heron Wins the Lysts on the Great Lakes Jousting Tournament 2012

Despite rather nasty weather, The "Lysts on the Great Lakes" jousting tournament took place as scheduled August 10 – 11 in Belleville, Michigan as part of the 66th annual Wayne County Fair. Jordan Heron rode Sterling, a 16.2 hand Percheron cross gelding, to victory as the overall tournament champion. Charlie Andrews of the Knights of Mayhem earned second place overall, and Andre Renier of the Knights of Iron came in third overall.

Jordan Heron on Sterling (photo by Tammie Graves)

Unfortunately, L Dale Walter, the leader of the Knights of Iron – the hosts for this tournament – was injured when his horse Brenin slid in the mud and Dale was thrown into a nearby fence early on Friday. Brenin was not hurt and Dale will recover, but he was unable to continue jousting. However, Dale still played a big part in the tournament, assisting announcer Whitney Senn Rowlett by providing color commentary throughout the rest of the event.

L Dale Walter on Brenin (photo by Lillyrose Photography)

The tournament was originally going to be a team competition, but for various reasons became more of an individual competition with different winners for the different sections of the tournament. Andre Renier, on Riley, a 16.3 handTB/Percheron cross gelding, won the Mounted Skill at Arms(MSA) section of the tournament which was run as a series of individual games. He was also chosen as the winner of the Horsemanship award.

Andre Renier on Riley (photo by Tammie Graves)

Steve Hemphill won second place in the MSA and North Gienow (son of jouster Dale Gienow) came in third.

North Gienow puts on his medal while father Dale Gienow looks on with pride
(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

Kellyn Burtka, who rode a 15 hand foundation quarter horse mare named Ashlyn, was chosen as the Most Chivalrous competitor.

Kellyn Burtka on Ashlyn (photo by Tammie Graves)

The jousting section of the competition was intense with Charlie Andrews, Steve Hemphill and Dale Gienow earning perfect scores on multiple passes on Friday, and Jordan Heron, Jason Monarch, and Andre Renier earning perfect scores during their passes on Saturday. The winner of the jousting section of the tournament ended up being Jordan Heron, who also, as mentioned previously, won the overall tournament.

Jordan Heron(left) jousts Jason Edwards Monarch(right)(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

Charlie Andrews came in second in the jousting section of the tournament, and Steve Hemphill came in third.

According to Jason Edwards Monarch:
"This was one HARD tourney, with all the competitors separated by less than six points in the score. A 90% accuracy rate by all those who competed! Very hard rules, where only hits on the ecranch counted, and additional rules for horse control. I scored a perfect day on Friday, and almost on Saturday. Finally got to joust Steve Hemphill, who invited me to the TX tourney, and best in the world Charlie Andrews from Knights of Mayhem. Great time!" -- Jason Edwards Monarch

Mary Neill helps Steve Hemphill with his armour(photo by Tammie Graves)

The ground crew for the tournament was led by Samantha Matyas of the Knights of Iron and the head judge for the tournament was Gerald Pyra. The horses ridden by the jousters in the tournament were as follows:

Andre Renier rode Riley: Percheron Thoroughbred cross gelding, 16.3 hands
Charlie Andrews rode Baron: Shire gelding, 16.2 hands
Dale Gienow rode Druid: Clydesdale gelding, 16.3 hands
Jason Monarch rode Sabylla: Percheron mare, 16.3 hands
Jordan Heron rode Sterling: Percheron cross gelding, 16.2 hands
Kellyn Burtka rode Ashlyn: Foundation Quarterhorse mare, 15 hands
L Dale Walter rode Brenin: Belgian Quarterhorse cross gelding, 16.2 hands
Nikki Fourtzialas rode Thunder: Percheron gelding, 19.1 hands
Steve Hemphill rode Hershey: Quarterhorse mare, 14.1 hands

Dale Gienow on Druid (photo by Lillyrose Photography)

Many thanks to Suzanne DeMink and Tammie Graves for providing information and pictures for this article.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Jousting Tournament at the Ohio State Fair

This year, for the first, but hopefully not the last time, the Ohio State Fair included a jousting tournament. The competitors were all jousters with Thomas Nader's Ohio based equestrian troupe Combatant's Keep, while the Knights of Iron -– a jousting troupe from Michigan -- and a few other people, including several kids from a local 4H club, provided ground crew and support staff.

(video from The Columbus Dispatch)

The Competitors included:

Thomas Nader, the founder of Combatant's Keep, on his horse Maggie.
(photo from the Combatant's Keep website)

Casey McCarthy on Nemesis
(photo from Combatant's Keep website)

Patrick Neil on Diego
(photo from Combatant's Keep website)

Bill Gay on Scipio
(photo from Combatant's Keep website)

The tournament took place during two sessions on Sunday, July 29, one at noon and the other at 5pm. The tournament involved mounted skill at arms(MSA), a “boar” hunt and mounted melee as well as the usual jousting. The MSA portion of the tournament included tilting at rings, thrown spear, Saracen Heads, a small jump, the quintain (1 pt per rotation) and finally pig-sticking. Each competitor ran the course separately. Thomas won the noon session of the MSA with 15 points.

During the noon session of the “Boar” hunt, in which all the jousters competed at the same time, Squire Eddie did such a good job dragging the “boar” around the arena that not one of the mounted competitors was able to catch and kill the “boar”. However, Squire Mary, to the cheers of the crowd, ran it down and stabbed it with a spear.

The Mounted Melee for this tournament was won by collecting tokens placed in sequential order around the arena. Casey cleverly won the noon melee by riding around the arena in the opposite direction from everyone else, collecting four tokens while the rest of the jousters were still fighting over the first token in the direction they chose to go.

Thomas Nader won the noon jousting session, beating Bill Gay by only one point. The final score was Thomas – 9 and Bill – 8.

During the 5pm session, Thomas again won the MSA with 11 points, Casey managed to kill the “boar” in the “boar” hunt, Thomas managed to win the melee by acquiring 3 tokens, and Bill won the joust with a 12 point perfect run against Thomas who scored 6 points.

You can see pictures of the tournament on this slideshow published by The Columbus Dispatch.



Thomas - 15 pts
Casey - 13 pts
Bill - 11 pts
Patrick - 10 pts

Boar Hunt:
The boar won. (Until Squire Mary “killed” it.)

Casey – 4 tokens
Patrick – 1 token

Match 1 - Thomas (7 pts) v. Casey (4 pts), Casey eliminated
Match 2 - Patrick (0 pts) v. Bill (5 pts), Patrick eliminated
Match 3 - Thomas (9pts) v. Bill (8pts), Bill eliminated
Tom wins


Thomas - 11 pts
Bill - 8pts
Patrick - 7 pts
Casey - 7pts

Boar Hunt:
Casey kills the “boar”

Thomas – 3 tokens
Patrick – 1 token
Bill – 1 token

Match 1 - Thomas (7pts) v. Casey (6pts), Casey is eliminated
Match 2 - Patrick (7pts) v. Bill (4pts), Patrick withdraws due to injury, leaving Bill to advance
Match 3 - Thomas (6pts) v. Bill (12pts - perfect run), Thomas is eliminated
Bill wins the joust

Many thanks to Whitney Rowlett Senn for providing information about this tournament.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Joust For Fun: Bad Idea

For L. Dale Walter.

I understand that the mounts should be triceratops, but this was as close as I could find. ;)