The Jousting Life

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Opening 'Knight' at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show

Jousters from Texas and Colorado will compete in a small jousting tournament as part of the Opening 'Knight' festivities at the famous “Pin Oak Charity Horse Show” in Houston, Texas, Wednesday, March 20 at 6:30pm in the main arena.

Jousters will face each other in pairs in the tilt, then will split into two teams for the mounted melee – the Fourteenth Century Team and the Fifteenth Century Team, based on the historical style of armour worn by each of the jousters. The Fourteenth Century team consists of Douglas Wagner, Jen Jobst and Sean Gulick. The Fifteenth Century Team consists of Jeffrey Basham, Steve Hemphill and Theresa Wendland. The King of Arms for the tournament will be Dave Wise and the Lady of Honour will be Pam Fowler Grace. The tournament is sponsored by Sherry Wallace and presented by A'Plaisance, Ltd.

The Fourteenth Century Team:

Douglas Wagner

Douglas Wagner at "Lysts on the Lake 2012"(photo by AzulOx)

Douglas Wagner has long been involved with historic martial and equine pursuits. Raised in Colorado, he took up sport fencing competitively after high school, began riding and earned a degree in history and archaeology before becoming involved in Historical European Martial Arts in 2004. He currently serves as the Head Instructor, President and Prefect of the Rocky Mountain Swordplay Guild, a Western Martial Arts school working primarily in the tradition of Fiore dei Liberi. In addition to instructing and fighting on foot, Douglas studies and teaches mounted combat techniques from Renaissance manuscripts of the various European traditions at national and international events. He recently gave clinics in Texas and California, and at the Fürstliche Hofreitschule Buckeburg, in Germany. Douglas has participated in Jousting tournaments since 2008, notably with the American Jousting Alliance and the International Jousting League. He also trains in the hunter/jumper discipline of riding, and is collaborating on a mounted combat curriculum for the Western Martial Arts community.

Jennifer Jobst

Jennifer Jobst at "Lysts at Castleton 2010" (photo by The Jousting Life)

Jennifer Jobst has been riding horses since 1988. When her own parents weren't particularly horse oriented, she went out and adopted herself a pair of “horse parents” so that she could pursue her passion. Her focus has mainly been dressage and eventing, but about eight years ago, she became involved in mounted combat in the Society for Creative Anachronism. She has since competed in a variety of mounted combat and foam tip jousting events. She has also done extensive research on 16th and early 17th century riding performances which resemble modern dressage, and has even deconstructed the patterns and movements used in the 1612 ballet du cheval for the King of France's wedding. Jouster Sean Gulick is her husband, and she supports his jousting habit while he supports her eventing habit. And, although she'll vehemently try to deny it, she has helped a number of jousters get their start by loaning her experience and her horses to them.

Sean Gulick

Sean Gulick (photo by AzulOx)

Sean enjoys recreating history by seeking to perfect the art of combat on the ground and in the saddle. He has competed in medieval martial arts recreating the 14th century tournament and grand melees for 24 years. More recently, he has become involved in mounted combat and jousting. He particularly enjoys striving for those moments of complete mental focus during the fight or run down the tilt where he achieves ultimate partnership with his horse.

The Fifteenth Century Team:

Jeffrey Basham

Jeffrey Basham at "Lysts on the Lake 2012"(photo by AzulOx)

Since 1998 Jeffrey has played a part in the international movement to recreate the Historical European Martial Arts and is associated with the Western Martial Arts Coalition and the HEMA Alliance. Jeffrey has exhibited and taught historical martial skills throughout the United States and abroad - most notably at the Royal Armouries in the United Kingdom. In addition, he has competed in Armour Deeds at Arms (longsword and spear) and in the Open Class Longsword, Sword & Buckler, and Dussack tournaments. Jeffrey's inspiration has mostly been from the medieval source manuscripts of Fiore dei Liberi and those of the Liechtenauer tradition. In recent years he has begun his own journey to incorporate mounted combat techniques into his regimen. As a hobby Jeffrey spends much of his time training horses and first time horse owners fundamentals of horsemanship to develop a more trusting, reliable, and safer riding experience. His riding background includes dressage, Western dressage, working equitation, trail riding, tournament jousting, and melee.

Steve Hemphill

Steve Hemphill (photo by AzulOx)

Steve has been involved with Medieval and Renaissance reenactment since 1980 and jousting since 2003. Steve has competed in a number of medieval equestrian events around the United States and Europe and is currently ranked 5th in the International Jousting League. He is a member of the Board of Representatives of the International Jousting League and a level 2 Jouster with the International Jousting Association. He is the owner of a’Plaisance, Ltd. and the Executive Producer of the “Lysts on the Lake” which, in 2011 and 2012, was the largest competitive jousting tournament in the modern world. When Steve is not involved with jousting he can be found competing in Dressage, Eventing and thoroughly enjoys fox-hunting.

Theresa Wendland

Theresa Wendland (photo by Douglas Wagner)

Theresa Wendland is a horsewoman, scholar of the Chicago Swordplay Guild, and member of the Rocky Mountain Swordplay Guild. She has been riding horses for over twenty years and has trained in modern dressage, jumping, and eventing. More recently her focus has been on classical and baroque dressage, mounted combat, and jousting. Since beginning her exploration of Western martial arts/Historical European martial arts, Theresa has been working to combine her knowledge of horsemanship, of the biomechanics of riding, and of equine behavior with the practice of Western martial arts in an effort to understand and to reconstruct mounted combat. She has been extensively researching historical horsemanship and mounted combat from the 4th c. BC to the 18th c. AD with a focus on the Italian and German medieval fighting manuscripts of the 14th and 15th centuries. Theresa has collaborated with horsemen and women and WMA practitioners from around the world in order to interpret and practice the art of medieval mounted combat. She has taught and lectured across the United States and in Germany. Theresa currently lives in Colorado where she is attending veterinary school and working with Douglas Wagner of the Rocky Mountain Swordplay Guild on a mounted combat curriculum.

King of Arms: Dave Wise

Dave Wise (photo by The Jousting Life)

Dave has been producing and using armour for decades. He has fought with a variety of weapons and styles across the US, and he rode as Norman cavalry in the 2006 reenactment at the Battle of Hastings in England. He has trained his horses for jousting and mounted combat, and, if he weren't the King of Arms at this event, he would eagerly cross sword or lance against any who would face him.

Lady of Honour: Pam Fowler Grace

Pam Fowler Grace riding Star N Stripes(photo by Kelly Smith)

A life-long horse lover, Pam Fowler Grace knew from the age of 4 that she was called to be a horse trainer. She remembers making chalk lines on the sidewalk to define imaginary stalls and every day she would pretend to ride an imaginary string of training horses. Pam has ridden in most every discipline, from barrel racing to reining and polo to race horses, but dancing with horses is where she excels. Pam is an international dressage competitor, coach, and judge. She has garnered an impressive list of accolades, including Horse of the year, 87 United States Dressage Federation National All Breeds Championships, 25 GAIG Championship titles, 5 of which were at the Grand Prix or Olympic level, and 2 World Championships.

She performed inside Riverside Cathedral in Manhattan on anther of her mounts, "Pay N Go" for Sir Paul McCartney in the memorial service honoring his wife Linda. Pay N Go was inducted into the Appaloosa Hall of fame and has been immortalized as a Breyer horse. Pam trained "Floriano" to the Grand Prix level, who was an Olympic and World Equestrian Games super star. As part of "Opening 'Knight' of Pin Oak", she is performing on her amazing Dutch warmblood, "Star In Stripes", who she adores. The pair has enjoyed 6 highly successful international show tours, including the Olympic qualifiers, scoring consistently into the 70's, and winning 3 Grand Prix Championships together. They have thrilled and dazzled crowds from Florida to California with light airy dances, which radiate passion and love.

The Jousting Horses:


Oberon (photo by The Jousting Life)

Oberon is an eleven year old, 16.1 hand, bay Percheron/Standardbred gelding. While he pretends to be terrified of mundane things like gates and wheelbarrows, armour and jousting do not faze him one bit. He is still fairly new to the sport of jousting, but with the help of his owners Sean Gulick and Jen Jobst, he is coming along nicely.

Pooh Bear

Pooh Bear ridden by Jeffrey Basham (photo by AzulOx)

Pooh Bear is a 10 year old, bay, American Quarter horse mare. She stands just above 15 hands and comes from the bloodlines of American Quarter Horse Hall of Famers Zippo Pin Bar and Doc Bar. Last year at "Lysts on the Lake 2012", her owner, Jeffrey Basham rode her in the Tirocinium(a joust for less experienced competitors), the mounted skill at arms(MSA) competition and the mounted melee. They earned a perfect score in the Tirocinium, and they won first place in the MSA competition.


Red(lower right) faces down a Belgian draft at "Lysts on the Lake 2012"
(photo by AzulOx)

Red is a twenty year old, 14.2.5 (that half an inch is important) hand, chestnut Missouri Foxtrotter gelding. He is owned by Jen Jobst and Sean Gulick, and among the horses jousting at Pin Oak, he has the most experience in mounted combat. Last year, he and Sean Gulick won the mounted melee portion of “Lysts on the Lake 2012”. He has helped a number of new jousters get their start and has earned the nickname, “Feerless War Pony”(that's the way he spells it) because of his willingness to face down horses literally twice his size. Also, he insists that he is definitely NOT CUTE.


Shadowfax, ridden by Ryan Saathoff, at "Lysts on the Lake 2012" (photo by AzulOx)

Shadowfax is an eleven year old, 17 hand, gray Andalusian/Lusitano gelding. He was originally trained in dressage and is still fairly new to the sport of jousting. He competed in the tilt at “Lysts on the Lake 2012”, but this will be his first time competing in the mounted melee.


Taran (photo by The Jousting Life)

Taran is a eleven year old, 15.1 hand, gray TB/Fells Pony gelding. Although he did some foam-tip jousting several years ago, he has mainly been trained in dressage. He has just recently been re-introduced to jousting and seems to be doing well with it.


Tinkerbell, ridden by Steve Hemphill, at "Lysts on the Lake 2012" (photo by AzulOx)

Tinkerbell is a 16.3 hand, black Percheron/Frisian mare. She has been Steve Hemphill's jousting horse in the tilt since "Lysts on the Lake 2011" and has recently started participating in the mounted melee as well. She is also being trained in dressage and enjoys the Texas version of fox-hunting, where coyotes are chased instead of foxes.


Ziggy, ridden by Ryan Saathoff, at "Lysts on the Lake 2011" (photo by Jay Baum)

Ziggy is a 24 year old, 16.1 hand, chestnut Thoroughbred gelding. His name is short for Zwanzig which means 20 in German. His owners paid $20 to rescue him from a bad situation when he was 19 years old. With their help, he recovered his health and has since competed in jousting, mounted skill at arms(MSA) and mounted melee, as well as participating in dressage, eventing and fox-hunting.

You can learn more about the "Pin Oak Charity Horse Show" and the Opening 'Knight' joust on the Pin Oak website.


  1. Wonderful article on competitors and horses. Best of luck to everyone involved in the show!


  2. The Fourteenth Century team consists of Douglas Wagner, Jen Jobst and Sean training

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