The Jousting Life

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Interview with Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell: Jouster at "The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel"

Per Estein Prøis- Røhjell, called Pelle by many in the jousting community, was one of the jousters at “The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel”.

Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell(aka Pelle) at Sankt Wendel(photo by Rozemarijn Keurning)

According to “The Knights” page of “The Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel” website:
Per and his wife, Hanne, run a riding school in Norway called Trollspeilet. Their appetites for the history of horseback fighting has led them to various places, sometimes astray, but Per has now found a path that leads toward the goal of being a realistically good mounted knight!

He learns from a few different sources: he has studied with the Hofreitschule in Bückeburg, he has trained with Arthur Kottas Heldenberg of the Spanish Riding school in Vienna, and trains regularly with a Portuguese bullfighter and Working Equitation world champion.

He finds that this mix gives him a deep insight in from several different angles – hopefully it will make him dangerous on the field of battle as well!

Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell jousts at Sankt Wendel(photo by Rozemarijn Keurning)

Per aka Pelle was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about his experiences during “The Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel”.

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

Pelle: I was introduced to the top level of jousting through Luke Binks, who lives with my stepdaughter. He thought my skills belonged at this level, and had me meet Arne Koets – the hub of the wheel that started rolling at St. Wendel.

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

Pelle: My horse is named Hugo. He is a mixture of unfitting blood, but his Knabstrupper ancestry luckily shows in the spots on his bum! He is the first horse I have owned, and he's been with me for 9 years. He is a thoroughbred at heart, and really dislikes fighting. However, he is very maneuverable, and very strong in his hindquarters. My friends tell me he is a nightmare to ride under difficult circumstances, and I am afraid I would have to agree! Still, he performed very well during this event, with only a few troublesome moments.

Per Estein Prøis-Røhell on Hugo fighting Luke Binks in the melee at St Wendel
(photo by Rozemarijn Keurning)

Please describe the person, place or thing that made the biggest impression on you when you first arrived at/during the days leading up to “The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel”.

Pelle: The thing that made the biggest impression on me, was the Norwegian flag over the arena, actually. However, I would like to point out that I have rarely enjoyed the privilege of being involved with so many strong personalities, without anyone beating their chests, or standing out more than the others! None were invisible, and none seemed to think themselves above anyone else.

Please describe one or two of your favorite non competition related moments during the time you were in Sankt Wendel.

Pelle: I loved the camaraderie with everyone, for instance the Artillery guys, who kindly took us in and shared their fire in a cool night. Also, every moment spent just hanging out with such a crew, is worth it's weight in, eh, steel...

Please describe one or two(or more) of your favorite moments during the competition of “The Grand tournament of Sankt Wendel”.

Pelle: I have three favorite moments, I think. First, the immense disappointment when Joram van Essen got injured, and I thought I would not be allowed to joust: I think that match has the potential to be epic! This was followed by huge excitement when Petter Ellingsen accepted the challenge and would risk head- hits in the heavy division! I feel we delivered a joust worthy of Vikings, and I actually shed a tear of relief: this is only my fourth tournament, and I was not sure I belonged in this crew, so please forgive my sentimentality!

Per Estein Prøis-Røhell jousts Petter Ellingsen at Sankt Wendel
(photo by Oliver Dunsch)

Second, or first, I cannot rank these: the last melee, with Joram – the human tank – keeping my back clear with many opponents! Totally epic to be a part of! The feeling of having a true knight protecting you so well, that you can utilize whatever ability you possess to really clean the field, is beyond my ability to describe!

Also, I encourage every competitor to closely watch how Luke Binks NEVER takes a cheap shot in the joust. He does not, in my opinion, jeopardize safety for points. And that is knightly too.

Arne Koets was chosen by the Ladies' Jury as the “Winner of the Prize for Highest Bravery”. Why do you think he was chosen?

Pelle: It is obvious to all why Arne was chosen: he did, as many have stated, lots and lots of stuff to NOT put himself forward, and rather promoted those he felt deserved it. This resulted in the ladies choosing him as the bravest!

Arne Koets dances with Rebecca Guldenring(photo by Rozemarijn Keurning)

Andreas Wenzel won the “Joust of the Squires”. What would you like to say about his performance during the tournament?

Pelle: It is my understanding that Andreas did very well with a horse that is not very easy to work with during the tournament. As a horse-trainer and riding teacher, I can very much relate to the challenges such a horse puts upon his rider, and the ladies made sure to award him for his hardships!

Even though he was injured and unable to complete the competition, Joram van Essen still won the overall tournament, in part due to other competitors contributing to his score. Arne Koets gave Joram enough of his own points to put Joram in first place ahead of Arne. Please explain how and why that happened and what part you played in this point exchange.

Pelle: The points exchange was, in my opinion, un-important! Chivalrous deeds rarely need points attached to them in order to show clearly, and if anything was clear in this tournament, it was that Joram van Essen was the most awesome competitor! Arne Koets made sure that there was no doubt about this, by giving away points the ladies had awarded him.

What would you like to say about/to the squires, ground crew and/or others who helped you during your participation in the GTSW.

Pelle: The squires and ground crew were impeccable. I never had to doubt anything about my horse being ready, thanks to Rozemarijn[Editorial note: Rozemarijn also provided many of the pictures for this article], and I was taken so well care of by Jack, that I hardly ever had to even spare a thought for my armour or weapons. Impeccable, and a fair bit awesome in itself. It is not easy caring for a stressed-out adrenaline-junkie with a half-mad horse.

Per Estein Prøis-Røhell gets help with his armour(photo by Rozemarijn Keurning)

What would you like to say about/to Arne Koets and the other organizers of the GTSW?

Pelle: To the organizers: DO IT AGAIN!

What would you like to say about your overall experience at the GTSW?

Pelle: Overall experience: I WANT MORE!

Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell at Sankt Wendel(photo by Rozemarijn Keurning)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Random Pic: Camel Jousting

Jouster Sarah Hay on a camel(photo by Eclecstasy)

This is Australian jouster Sarah Hay riding a camel at the "Blactown Medieval Fayre 2012". Will camel jousting become the new trend? What do you think?

(No, she did not actually joust on the camel. She just rode one in armour.)

You can see more pictures from the "Blacktown Medieval Fayre Jousting Tournament" here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The First Joust in Tasmania Held During the "Burnie-Wynyard Medieval Festival"

Written by Phillip Leitch with pictures by Lisa Leitch:

The first ever Burnie-Wynyard Medieval Festival, was held the weekend of the 15th and 16th of September. It included a mounted skill at arms(MSA) display, a melee and a joust by Australian jousters, Justin Holland, Wayne Riggs and Phillip Leitch.

Wayne Riggs(left) jousts Phillip Leitch(right)(photo by Lisa Leitch)

This was the first joust to be held in Phillip's home state of Tasmania, and it was very well received by the locals.

Phillip Leitch on his Friesian Stallion Valiant greets the public (photo by Lisa Leitch)

Two of the horses used in the event had never jousted in a public display before and stepped up to the task, as if they were seasoned veterans. Phillip's Friesian Stallion 'Valiant' stole the show with his impressive physique and presence. Phillip's wife Lisa was kind enough to lend the jousters her Australian Stock Horse 'Bounty', who had done the least joust training of the three, but he was ridden well by seasoned jouster Justin Holland, and performed brilliantly throughout the weekend.

Justin Holland on Bounty(left) jousts Phillip Leitch on Valiant(right)
(photo by Lisa Leitch)

The third horse 'Hood', owned by Wayne Riggs was shipped over by ferry especially for the tournament and put on a great display of speed and skill, truly a credit to his owner and rider. Wayne, when asked about his horse's breeding will tell you he is a "Mongrel", but whatever his breed, he was definitely worth the effort and expense to bring into the state.

Wayne Riggs on his horse Hood does MSA(photo by Lisa Leitch)

The joust was broken up with pieces of improvised theatrics where the evil "Sir Riggsy" would, chastise, beat and boss "Sir Phillip's" squire "Sam" around, and chase him down the lyst. Occasionally "Sir Phillip" would intervene, pursuing the evil knight or challenging him to further joust passes. The comedic performance of "Squire Sam" is something that the audience will surely remember for a long time.

"Squire Sam" is chased by the evil "Sir Riggsy" (photo by Lisa Leitch)

Over the weekend three joust displays were run and judged separately. Amazingly, each of the jousters won one of the displays! A very close competition indeed.

Justin Holland(left) jousts Phillip Leitch(right)(photo by Lisa Leitch)

It is hoped that the weekend will turn into an annual event, growing in size and involving more jousters in the future. Even so, for a small place like Tasmania, it was a great event that the organizers should be very proud of.

Phillip Leitch, Justin Holland and Wayne Riggs(photo by Lisa Leitch)

Many thanks to Phillip Leitch and Lisa Leitch for providing the text and pictures for this article.