The Jousting Life

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Shane Adams Wins Overall Championship for “Estes Park 2012”, While Kryssi Jeaux Miller Becomes the First Female Jouster to Ever Win a Daily Joust at “Estes Park”

For many years, as part of the “Longs Peak Scottish/Irish Highland Festival”, there has been a very popular jousting tournament, commonly referred to as “Estes Park”(since the event takes place in Estes Park, Colorado). This year the tournament was held on September 6 - 9 and included jousters from Shane Adam's troupe The Knights of Valour and the Knight's Edge Jousting Academy.

Shane Adams, from the tv show “Full Metal Jousting”, won the overall tournament championship.

Shane Adams with the award for Tournament Champion(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

Of course, he could not have won without the support of his trusty steed, Paladin, a 16 year old, 17 hand, black Percheron gelding.

Shane Adams on his Percheron gelding Paladin(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

Other members of the Knights of Valour earned second, third and fourth place overall:
2nd place – Robert Combe on the 12 year old, 17.1 hand Belgian Draft gelding Jake,

Robert Combe on Jake(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

3rd place – Zach Lovering on the 9 year old, 17.1 hand gelding Harland,

Zach Lovering with Harland(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

4th place – Ken Barton on the 13 year old, 17 hand gelding Phantom.

Ken Barton on Phantom(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

The tournament consisted of a Mounted Skill at Arms(MSA) Individual Events competition, a “Light Armor” competition and a “Heavy Armor” competition. Fifteen competitors participated in MSA – IE, 11 in "Light Armor" and 6 in "Heavy Armor". Awards were given daily for each competition, as well as counting towards the overall tournament title.

The “Light Armor” jousting competition involved using plain Straight Solid lances to hit the opponent's large hand held shield on its upper right hand corner. To make scoring more accurate, there was a target affixed to the upper right quadrant of each shield. Points were earned by hitting the red center of the target with fewer points earned for hitting the outer yellow area of the target. Before each pass, the squires would rub the end of each lance with black "chalk" which would rub off on the target if there was a hit.

Shane Adams strikes his opponent's shield and leaves a black mark in the yellow area of the target.(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

The “Heavy Armor” jousting competition involved using Straight Solid lances with Vamplates and Grappers attached to strike the opponent's Gridded Grand Guard which was bolted to their left shoulder.

Straight Solid lances with Vamplates and Grappers(left) Ken Barton with a Gridded Grand Guard bolted to his shoulder(right)(photos by Suzanne DeMink)

Points were earned for hitting the grand guard with the lance, breaking the lance against the grand guard and for unhorsing your opponent. Due to an error on Friday, the vamplates were screwed onto the lances instead of being taped on, which resulted in three jousters – Ken Barton, Rob Combe, and Zach Lovering – breaking their hands that day.

According to photographer Suzanne DeMink:
”They corrected the problem, but it made for an interesting weekend with everyone doing their best to try and hold the lances! That's also why, in some of my pictures, the knight's grip may look awkward.” – Suzanne DeMink

The female competitors from Knight's Edge Jousting Academy did well this year. Lauren Sturges, a recent graduate of Colorado State University, won the MSA Individual Event in rings on Friday by spearing all four rings.

Lauren Sturges tilts at rings during "Estes Park 2012"(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

And on Saturday, Kryssi Jeaux Miller made “Estes Park” history by being the first female jouster to win one of the jousting competitions. She took first place in the "Light Armor" competition, beating out Shane Adams who came first in "Light Armor" on both Friday and Sunday, and who earned first place in "Heavy Armor" all three days.

Kryssi Jeaux Miller takes aim at the quintain(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

According to photographer Suzanne DeMink:
”The weather was perfect, and the stands were packed every day of the competition. The judging was very professional and easy to follow, with the results of every pass announced to the crowd. All of the Knights of Valour and the members of KEJA that I met were very nice, and everyone helped. Overall, it was an enjoyable time for all.” – Suzanne DeMink

Many thanks to Suzanne DeMink for the information and pictures used in this article.

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