The Jousting Life

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.

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