The Jousting Life

Friday, May 31, 2013

Another Short Promo Video for the "Times & Epochs" Historical Festival in Russia

Another exciting promotional video for the "Times & Epochs" Historical Festival in Moscow, Russia.

(video by Ratabor Show)

You can find out more about the "Times & Epochs" history festival on the "Times & Epochs" website and "Times & Epochs" Facebook page.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Knights of Mayhem Ultimate Jousting Event at Patriot's Ranch

"The Knights of Mayhem Ultimate Jousting Event" is this weekend, May 30 – June 2, 2013, at Patriot's Ranch in Florahome, Florida. Patriot's Ranch is a veteran owned business and part of the proceeds from the event will go to The Destroyers Chapter of the Second Marine Division Association, a veterans organization.

The event will include two different styles of jousting – jousting with frangible lances and ecranche, and the style of jousting Charlie Andrews is famous for, jousting with straight solid lances and gridded grand guard. There will be two sessions of jousting each day, as well as other entertainment. Jousters will include Charlie Andrews, Eddie "The Hit Man" Rigney, James (Wild Eagle) Johnson, Steve Hemphill, Scott Wilson, David Young, Nikki Fourtzialas, Jeffrey Wasson, Scarlett Coverdale, Thomas Nader and Patrick Neill. Click here to see pictures and biographies of the jousters.

(picture provided by Patriot's Ranch)

You can find out more about the event on "The Knights of Mayhem Ultimate Jousting Event" website and Facebook page.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Promotional Video for "Times & Epochs" Historical Festival in Moscow, Russia

Here is the English version of the promotional video for the "Times & Epochs" historical festival which will be held in Moscow, Russia, June 21 - 23, 2013, at the UNESCO world heritage site, the Kolomenskoye Historical and Architectural Museum and Reserve.

"Times & Epochs" is presented by Ratabor Show, a company that incorporates historical tools, activities and costumes into an interactive presentation that seeks to give observers and participants a sense of stepping back in time. You can find out more about the "Times & Epochs" history festival on the "Times & Epochs" website and "Times & Epochs" Facebook page.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A New Kind of Frangible Lance Tip: Spiral Cut Pine Tips

The following article was written by Callum Forbes of the Order of the Boar:

At the “Harcourt Park 2013 World Invitational Jousting Tournament” (in New Zealand), we tested new spiral cut pine tips in our lances instead of using the traditional length-wise cut balsa tips. Balsa is on a protected species list and is becoming more expensive. This adds significantly to the costs of jousting. Because of this we started looking for alternatives to balsa tips.

When I was in Belgium at "Hackaland 2011", Fred Piraux showed me a video of a tip design made of European ‘yellow pine’ which a wood-turning friend of his had suggested to him. Fred tested several prototypes which broke well on a static quintain and very kindly gave me a fragment of one as a sample to take back home. It is essentially a solid dowel with a spiral cut down most of its length with a router bit.

Pictures of Fred Piraux's spiral cut pine lance tips, intact(above) and broken(below)
(photos by Frederic Piraux)

Dave Smith, our announcer at all of our jousting events in New Zealand, built a rig to allow mass production of these tips and made several prototypes for me from pinus radiata, which is a widely used forestry timber in New Zealand. It is cheap and is also a renewable timber.

We tested two spiral cut tip designs late last year. One had a deeper cut and one a shallower cut. Both broke very well on tests against our ‘shock’ quintain, but when I had them tested with me as the target, people had trouble getting a good shattering effect with the shallower cut ones. So I commissioned Dave to make 200 of the deeper cut tips for our “Harcourt Park 2013 World Invitational Jousting Tournament” last February.

Tournament Tip showing the form of the spirals. We paint all of our tips in one of two colours to make judging easier and also to make the tip the same colour as the colours we use on our lances so that they are not so obvious as inserts to the public.(photo by Callum Forbes)

Because the pine tip weighs 3 – 4 times as much as a balsa equivalent and because it is more rigid, you have to hit more accurately than balsa to get them to shatter correctly. By this I mean you have to hit square on. With balsa, because it flexes a bit more then pine, you can hit at a bit of an angle and still get a good shattering effect. With pine tips, the problem is that it is easier for the lance to deflect off the target at an unpredictable angle. By encouraging people to hit more accurately (i.e., square on), this risk is mitigated to some extent.

During the actual joust, when people hit hard and accurately, we had spectacular breaks that were louder than balsa. We also got multiple fragmentation, and the fragments flew further into the air (and into the crowd!) than balsa.

Andrew McKinnon from Australia takes a hit at "Harcourt Park 2013" showing tip fragmentation in action(photo by Andrew Turner/ATPhoto)

In hindsight, the tips were cut too deeply, and although they hit harder than balsa, a few people thought they were a bit too easy. We also had a teething issue in that our timber supplier sent us dowels in 2 diameters – 30mm and 32mm – and the 30mm dowels were a little too easy to break. But when introducing something new into the joust, it pays to err on the side of caution. Regardless, everybody thought the new tips were a major step forward.

We did test some prototype shallower cut tips at the tournament in front of the public as a demonstration. They broke very well, and the riders felt the impact a lot more. So the consensus is that we use these tips at future international events like "Harcourt Park", and we plan to use them at our next big international tournament which is planned for February 2014 at another location in New Zealand.

Overall these tips were a great success as I wanted a tip that broke harder than balsa without the splintering that you get from balsa tips. Because people are cutting the balsa length-wise (although I have also recently seen this done with pine) the balsa tip splinters into sharp shards. However, with the spiral cut, the pine tips break blunt so there is no chance of a splinter entering an eye slit or finding a weak spot in armour.

You can see the blunt ends left on both the broken piece and the remaining portion of the lance tip after the spiral cut pine tip broke off of Sarah Hay's lance during this rare tip to tip hit.
(photo by Andrew Turner/ATPhoto)

From the cost point-of-view, the spiral cut pine tips also worked out as being a bit cheaper than the last batch of balsa we brought.

I would like to acknowledge Frederic Piraux from Belgium as the designer of these tips, and my manufacturer Dave Smith of Dannevirke, New Zealand for making our local prototypes and production tips.

Callum Forbes
Order of the Boar, New Zealand

You can see more pictures, video and information about the “Harcourt Park 2013 World Invitational Jousting Tournament” in the following articles:

Canadian Dale Gienow Wins New Zealand's “Harcourt Park 2013 World Invitational Jousting Tournament”

Video from "Harcourt Park 2013 World Invitational Jousting Tournament"

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Jousting Tournament of King Jana III at Zamek Gniew

This weekend, May 24 - 26 2013, is the annual "Jousting Tournament of King Jana III" at Zamek Gniew (which translates as Castle Anger) in Poland. The tournament is a little different each year. This year the tournament is focusing on historical accuracy and is affiliated with the historical division of the International Jousting League.

Promotional poster for the "Jousting Tournament of King Jana III" (picture from the "Jousting Tournament of King Jana III" Facebook page)

You can find out more about the tournament on the "Jousting Tournament of King Jana III" Facebook page which includes photo albums with biographical information about each of the competitors. Click on the names below to see the information and pictures for each of the jousters:

Jarosław (Jarek) Struczyński

Adam "Fifa" Firyn

Jan Gradoń

Michał Ruda

Adam "Jazon" Ałaszewski

Marcus Hamel

Jeremy "Jezz" Smith

Steve R. Gagnon

Petter Ellingsen

Luc Petillot

Jeffrey Hedgecock

The competitors of "The Jousting Tournament of King Jana III" (Photo from the "Jousting Tournament of King Jana III" Facebook page)

The tournament will include jousting/tilting, crossbow, mounted melee and mounted skill at arms(MSA). You can find out more about the "Tournament of King Jana III" and Zamek Gniew by clicking on their names. Some, but not all of the pages for Zamek Gniew have English translations.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Rikstornering 2013: The 14th Official Swedish Championship Jousting Tournament

The 14th Official Swedish Championship Jousting Tournament, Rikstornering 2013, was held May 10 - 11 at Hovdala Slott(Castle) in Sweden. The jousting troupe Torneamentum (Facebook page for Torneamentum) was yet again the winning-most team, though the competition was closer this year than it has been in previous years.

The jousters of Rikstornering 2013 (photo by Kersti Tufvesson)

Many thanks to Magnus Andersen for the following information [The article below was written by Magnus. However, I edited it to make it easier for English speaking readers to understand]:

In Sweden there is a strong tradition to create associations, groups or organizations for people who share a common interest. There are at least 10 different associations in Sweden for jousters who train together in order to put on tournaments at medieval markets, weddings and as independent shows. Many years ago, these groups worked together to create Svenska Riddarsällskaps Samarbetsgrupp(the Swedish Jousting League) to set up rules and standards for a Swedish Championship Jousting Tournament. The main purpose of Svenska Riddarsällskaps Samarbetsgrupp(SRS) was to improve the quality, riding skills and equipment used in jousting, and to create a forum where different topics could be discussed, such as safety issues.

Malin Hellstedt (photo by Annika Niklasson Adolfsson)

Since the creation of this league, there has not been a championship every year. However, Rikstornering 2013 was the 14th official Swedish Championship Jousting Tournament. In all of Sweden there are a total of about 100 jousters. However, since this was the championship, only the most skilled jousters competed, making it a true championship. There were a total of 45 jousters who competed at Rikstornering 2013, which was held at Hovdala Castle in the south of Sweden – the same place the championship was held last year.

Hovdala Castle is a fantastic place to hold a tournament because it is in a area without modern houses. During the two days of last year's tournament, there were more than 12,000 visitors, and this year there were even more. At the same event, there were also a variety of reenactment groups as well as a medieval market.

Medieval Market at Hovdala Slott (photo from Hovdala Slott Facebook page)

Sweden has the highest number of horses per person of any country in the world. So it is a very common thing to ride. The Swedish Championship Jousting Tournament focuses more on riding skills than on traditional tilting. In Sweden is it more common for jousters to wear chain mail instead of plate armour. However, both types of armour are used. Tilting [what most people mean when they say jousting] is mainly performed for shows, and most of the jousters do it for fun or as the finale in a show. However there are some differences in the way Swedish jousters tilt because of the different types of protection worn by the competitors. [Based on pictures of the event, Swedish tilting is the style of jousting commonly referred to as “shield-tagging”]

Jennifer Marklund (photo by Malin Persson)

The most well known group in Sweden that is doing European style tilting [in plate mail with an ecranche and frangible lances] is Celeres Nordica which international jousting champion Klas Lundberg is a member of.

Klas Lundberg (photo by Malin Persson)

This year's tournament mainly consisted of three different competitions: Mounted Skill at Arms (Swedish version) [MSA – Combined Course] and Swedish Mounted Tournament – where you ride from both sides at the same time – which was performed as both an individual and as a team competition. Additional prizes were also awarded to the Best Herald, the Best Youth (age 18-23), most handsome jouster with horse and the most chivalrous jouster. There were no serious accidents or incidents. The horses were in good condition and were inspected by a veterinarian in the mornings.

The results for Mounted Skills at Arms:
The Swedish version of Mounted Skills at Arms is riding a course as fast as possible while hitting all the targets with different weapons (lance, spear and sword). It is maximum speed and gallop all the way. If you miss a target you receive a penalty of 10 seconds. The first day was a qualification round, and finals were held the next day.

Erik Graneskog (photo by Annika Niklasson Adolfsson)

The winner was Anders Larsson(Kunskapens Riddare/the Knight of Knowledge) from Torneamentum, who had a clear round and an extremely fast time of approximately 1 minute and 15 seconds. Second and third place also went to jousters from Torneamentum: 2nd place - Daniel Utas(Riddare Hans af Wisby) 3rd place - Kristian Utas(Riddar Tjelvar). However, the results of the finals were all very close except for Anders' winning run which was outstanding.

Anders Larsson also known as Kunskapens Riddare/the Knight of Knowledge
(photo by Malin Persson)

The results for Swedish Mounted Tournament:
The first day was a qualification round with finals held the second day. Swedish Mounted Tournament consists of six different parts where pairs of jousters ride with a variety of weapons aiming for different targets. In the Swedish Mounted Tournament individual competition, a jouster from Torneamentum again won first place, Jan-Erik Utas(Riddare Bagge/Knight of the Ram). Second place was also won by a jouster from Torneamentum, Fredrik Strange(Tidernas Riddare), and third place was won by a jouster from the group Infensus, Pontus Persson(Riddare Lejongap).

Jan-Erik Utas also known as Riddare Bagge/Knight of the Ram(photo by Helen Kullander)

In the team competition Torneamentum won first place. Second place was earned by a team from Arboga Raedarius. In third place was the second team from Torneamentum, and in fourth place was a team from Skånska Björnens Riddare. Torneamentum is the most well known jousting group in Sweden. They live on Gotland Island, and they have won most of the Swedish Championship Jousting Tournaments, however it was a lot harder for them to win this year than it used to be.

Members of Skånska Björnens Riddare(photo by Kersti Tufvesson)

The Best Youth, Joanna Varde(Riddare Vingfåle), and the Best Herald, Dennis Augustsson, were from the group Skånska Björnens Riddare. The Most Handsome Knight (visitors’ choice) was Jan-Erik Utas (Riddare Bagge / Knight of the Ram) from Torneamentum, and the Most Chivalrous Knight was Carsten Nihlen (Den Skånska Gripen / The Scanian Gryphon) from Arboga Raedarius.

Carsten Nihlen(photo by MalinPersson)

In addition to the competitions, members of the jousting troupe Celeres Nordica also performed a demonstration of “normal” jousting or as we say “Man against Man” [plate armour jousting with ecranche and frangible lances].

Mats Gustavsson(left) jousts Gunnar Cederberg(right)(photo by Malin Persson)

The tournament lasted two long days with constant competitions running 8 hours each day. At the end, we had a parade with all the 45 jousters riding in procession, and of course a banquet where we spent the whole night celebrating. In the future it might be fun to also have international jousters visiting us or performing demonstrations during the tournament.

The final procession of jousters (video by Anna Hjortsberg)

The detailed results are published at and

You can see more pictures of Rikstornering 2013 in The Jousting Life's Rikstornering 2013 photo album on Facebook.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Jousting Clinic Sponsored by the Northwest Jousting Association to be Held in Washington USA

On the weekend of June 29 - 30, 2013, there will be a jousting clinic and tournament sponsored by the Northwest Jousting Association featuring Charlie Andrews of the Knights of Mayhem as the main instructor. The event will take place at Stewart's Arena, 11127 Vail Rd. SE, Yelm, Washington 98957 USA. The clinic is open to ALL ages and horses, and auditors are encouraged. You can find out more about the clinic and tournament on "IJA Ranking and Clinic and Mt. St. Helens Blow Out Tournament-NW Champs 2013" Facebook page.

Promotional poster (provided by the Northwest Jousting Association)

Friday, May 3, 2013

"Tournament of St. George" to be held at the Blacktown Medieval Fayre

Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19, in Sydney, Australia at the “My Lords & Ladies Medieval Fayre”, part of the “Blacktown City Festival”, Full Tilt will be running the “Tournament of St. George”. In addition to the standard frangible lance joust – which is an open joust subject to application and approval – there will also be a solid tapered lance joust with steel coronels. These are the same kind of lances that were used in the prestigious “Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel”. Only those few jousters already chosen will be competing in the solid tapered lance joust.

Arne Koets(left) jousts Joram van Essen(right) with solid tapered lances with steel coronels at "The Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel" (photo by Hanno van Harten)

Close up of the steel coronel on the end of a solid tapered lance(photo by Ulrike Otto)

Competing in the solid tapered lance joust will be Rod Walker, Arne Koets, Andrew McKinnon and Luke Binks. Rod Walker, is probably best known for being the coach of the winning black team in the tv show “Full Metal Jousting”. He has been jousting competitively for many years and has competed in tournaments all over the world. Rod won the joust at last year's Blacktown Medieval Fayre. He and his wife Michelle run “Full Tilt”.

Rod Walker on his horse Shadow at Blacktown Medieval Fayre 2012(photo by Ross Schultz)

Arne Koets not only jousted in, but also organized the prestigious “Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel” at which, he came in second place overall. He would have come in first, except he persuaded the Lady judges to give some of the points they were going to give to him to Joram van Essen whom Arne had accidentally injured earlier in the tournament. Arne is also the good-natured subject of a widespread jousting jest, the "International I Want To Be Arne Koets Day".

Arne Koets on his horse Maximillian(photo by Franziska Schatek)

Although Andrew McKinnon had never ridden a horse before his 40th birthday, and never jousted competitively until 2010, he has since competed in several international tournaments, including some in New Zealand and France. In May of 2012, Andrew earned third place in the Australian Jousting Championship held at Bathurst. Andrew looks forward to developing his dressage and jousting skills and winning more renown in Australia and overseas.

Video of Andrew McKinnon(in blue and white) jousting Sasha Buchmann(in green and gray) at last year's Blacktown Medieval Fayre(video by mozebasic)

After spending some time in Norway, Luke Binks has returned to his native land of Australia. In order to satisfy his lifelong passion for knights and the middle ages, Luke started to make armour, learn to fight and to ride horses in 2002. Since then, Luke has competed in numerous tournaments in over 10 different countries. He has also taught several jousting clinics.

Luke Binks on his horse Misty(photo by Hanno van Harten)

The above jousters will also compete in the frangible lance joust where they will be joined in competition by Sarah Hay and Ben van Koert. Sarah Hay is probably the best and certainly the most active woman in competitive jousting. In 2012, Sarah won the “Full Tilt International Jousting Tournament” which served both as an international jousting tournament and as the Australian national championship tournament. Sarah won both aspects of the tournament. This was not the first tournament she had won, she has won at least six others, and has competed in numerous tournaments around the globe.

Sarah Hay on the lovely horse Femke(photo by BronwynElliot)

Ben van Koert is probably best known for the wonderful videos he has created of jousting and jousting tournaments through his company Kaos Historical Media. He created the promo video for the “Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel” as well as a video of the tournament itself. For this tournament, however, he will be in front of the camera rather than behind it.

Ben van Koert practicing jousting(photo by Gerlinde Viveen)

You can find more details about where and when the jousting tournament will take place on the “Blacktown City Festival” and the "My Lords & Ladies Medieval Fayre" website. You can find out more about “Full Tilt” on their website.