The Jousting Life

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Article about the Estes Park Joust 2013

Here is an excerpt from an article written by Suzanne DeMink about the jousting tournament held at Estes Park during the "Longs Peak Scottish/Irish Highland Festival".

It was another successful weekend of competition at the 2013 Long’s Peak Highland Festival in Estes Park, Colorado. Twenty eight competitors took part in the activities, which ran from Friday through Sunday. The weather alternated between beautiful sunny skies, to clouds, to rain, to hail, yet the competitors competed through it all. Four jousting troupes were represented: The Knights of the Four Winds, The Knights of Mayhem, The Knights of Valour, and The Order of Epona. Each day ended with a packed house of patrons wishing the competition could continue.

To read the full article, follow this link.

Greg Boxma and Shane Adams joust at Estes Park 2013(photo by Suzanne DeMink)

To see more of Suzanne's pictures, follow this link.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Arundel International Tournament 2013 Score Summary

"Arundel International Tournament 2013" was held July 23 - 28 at Arundel Castle in England. You can find out more about the tournament in a previous article written by "Arundel International Tournament". For various reasons, mainly length, the article does not include a list of the scores earned by the various teams and competitors during the tournament. So here is a simple summary of the scores for the Team Jousting Competition, Individual Jousting Competition and Hunting Skills(MSA) Competition at "Arundel International Tournament 2013".

Jan Gradon(left) and Mark Caple(right) joust in front of Arundel Castle(photo by Stephen Moss)

Team Preliminaries
1st – Holy Roman Empire, 29 placement points, 184 strike points
2nd – Kingdom of England, 16 placement points, 144 strike points
3rd – Kingdom of France, 9 placement points, 154 strike points
4th – Duchy of Burgundy, 7 placement points, 124 strike points

Team Finals
1st – Kingdom of England, 33 strike points
2nd – Holy Roman Empire, 32 strike points

Wouter Nicolai(left) and Andreas Wenzel(right) joust(photo by Richard Pearn)

Individual Joust Competition
1st – Andreas Wenzel, 15 placement points, 77 strike points
2nd – Jan Gradon, 10 placement points, 65 strike points
3rd – Mark Caple, 9 placement points, 58 strike points
4th – Marcus Hamel, 8 placement points, 63 strike points
5th – Stacy Evans, 8 placement points, 52 strike points
6th – Steve R. Gagnon, 7 placement points, 55 strike points
7th – Wouter Nicolai, 5 placement points, 46 strike points
8th – Ben van Koert, 4 placement points, 44 strike points

Hunting Skills Competition
1st – Mark Caple, 41 points
2nd – Wouter Nicolai, 34 points
3rd – Stacy Evans, 32 points
4th – Andreas Wenzel, 31 points
4th – Marcus Hamel, 31 points
6th – Jan Gradon, 29 points
7th – Steve R. Gagnon, 26 points
8th – Ben van Koert, 11 points

Right: Wouter Nicolai neatly bisects a squash (photo by Richard Pearn)

For an explanation of the difference between placement points and strike points, please see the previous article about Arundel 2013.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Arundel International Jousting Tournament 2013

NOTE: For those of you who don't already know, the international jousting tournament at Arundel Castle is one of the most prestigious, historically accurate and physically challenging jousting tournaments in the world today. The organizers of the “Arundel International Tournament” were kind enough to write the following article which explains a little about the history of Arundel Castle and the historic family who still calls it home, as well as giving a nice summary of this year's tournament.

Written by “Arundel International Tournament”:

A leading figure during the Wars of the Roses was John Howard, one of the fiercest and most loyal supporters of the House of York. He was knighted by Edward IV at the Battle of Towton in 1461, became a member of the King’s Council in 1467, and went into exile when Edward lost the throne in 1470. He was a noted jouster, and presided as Marshal over “the most splendid tournament of the age” in which the Bastard of Burgundy jousted against Lord Scales. He carried the Royal Standard at Edward IV’s funeral in 1483, and in the same year was created 1st Duke of Norfolk and Earl-Marshal of England by Richard III. He found his end at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, fighting loyally for the last Plantagenet King of England.

John Howard, first Duke of Norfolk and Earl-Marshal of England(photo from Wikipedia)

Despite their misfortunes at Bosworth, the Howard family managed to hold on to or reclaim the titles won by John Howard, so that the current (18th) Duke of Norfolk is his direct descendant: His Grace Edward Fitzalan-Howard, Duke of Norfolk, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, premier peer of England, residing at magnificent Arundel Castle in West Sussex. Built in 1067 after the Norman Conquest to fortify the mouth of the River Arun, Arundel is England’s second-largest castle, and certainly one of the country’s most beautiful historic sites.

Arundel Castle(photo from Arundel Castle Facebook page)

The castle includes the original Norman motte-and-bailey, a large part of its 14th century curtain wall and gate houses, one of the largest libraries in England, the modern reconstruction of a formal garden based on original 17th century plans by Inigo Jones, and an extensive collection of effigies and artifacts. And once a year it hosts within its walls the UK’s largest jousting tournament – which is only befitting the venue, given that the current Duke of Norfolk still holds the title of Earl-Marshal of England, bestowed upon his forefather by Richard III.

This year, four teams representing the major powers of medieval Europe competed against each other: The Holy Roman Empire took the team championship last year and was determined to defend the title.

The Holy Roman Empire: Andreas Wenzel of Germany(left) and Jan Gradon of Poland(right)
(Photo by Richard Pearn)

The Kingdom of England was still reeling from last year’s team defeat and was desperate to win back the championship.

The Kingdom of England: Mark Caple(left) and Stacy Evans(right) of the UK
(photos by Richard Pearn)

The Kingdom of France missed the final last year and was resolved on doing better this time.

The Kingdom of France: Marcus Hamel(left) and Steve R. Gagnon(right) of Quebec, Canada
(photos by Richard Pearn)

And the Duchy of Burgundy made its first appearance at Arundel, an unknown quantity keen on giving good account of itself.

The Duchy of Burgundy: Wouter Nicolai(left) and Ben van Koert(right) of the Netherlands
(photo by Richard Pearn)

The "Arundel International Tournament" is held over six days of continuous jousting in a variety of two and four man heats, making it to our knowledge the most extensive jousting competition held today. The long duration challenges the competitors considerably, in terms of physical fitness, horsemanship, and general consistency. Each jouster has to ride a variety of horses, compete in changing weather, deal with fatigue and injury over a long time period, and keep his mind calm despite building pressure. The latter can be a particular challenge. Every morning each jouster walks past the scoreboard, mercilessly reminding him, even before breakfast, of his current position in the ranking. Every evening each jouster walks past the scoreboard on his way to bed, reminding him of his defeats or victories of the day.

Arundel International Tournament Scoreboard (photo by Stephen Moss)

This mental pressure is compounded by the historically inspired scoring system used for the tournament. While each jousting round is scored as per the UK standard (1 point for arm, 2 points for chest, 3 points for shield or head, 1 additional point for breaking the lance far down, 1 additional point for horsemanship), these “strike scores” are not taken into account for the placements.

Left: Scoring Sheet(photo by Catherine Tranter)
Right: Catherine Tranter carefully scribes the scores for each match(photo by Stephen Moss)

Instead the tournament rules attempt to align themselves with 15th century sources, putting a particular emphasis on who achieved victory in each round: The highest scorer in each jousting match receives three points, the second-placed individual two, the third-placed one. The last-placed jouster receives no scores for the board. This scoring system is particularly harsh in the two-man heats, where the winning team receives three points, but the losing team none at all.

Ben Van Koert(left) jousts Jan Gradon(right) in front of Arundel Castle(photo by Richard Pearn)

The team which shone throughout the tournament right up to the final, appearing virtually untouchable, were the defending champions: the Holy Roman Empire. Except for their second match, in which they placed second, the Imperial Jousting Team won every one of their ten confrontations and ended up with an unprecedented team score of 29 out of a maximum 30. Alas, this impressive feat meant nothing more than a place in the final, for which the score board would be wiped to zero. For the Sunday final, the Empire was joined by England, whose team had comfortably stayed ahead of rival team France with a score of 16.

Andreas Wenzel(left) jousts Stacy Evans(right)(photo by Richard Pearn)

What ensued then was arguably one of the most nail-biting jousting finals many recall. The Empire surged ahead straight away with the same consistency they had displayed all week, leaving England behind after an early miss by Evans. Through the next rounds the Imperial team expanded their lead by virtue of hitting harder, thus gaining breakage points over England. This found its culmination in a miss by Caple, which put the Empire seven points in the lead with only two courses to go. Given that at this point England needed two shield hits with breakage and for the highly consistent Empire to miss both times in order to win, the English Jousting Team might be forgiven for losing heart.

However, the seemingly impossible happened. On his last course of the tournament, Wenzel's coronel slipped off Caple's targe with the lance remaining whole(scoring no points), while Caple struck the shield and broke to the socket(scoring four points).

Mark Caple(left) and Andreas Wenzel(right) joust (photo by Stephen Moss)

When Evans and Gradon then walked their horses up to position and lowered their visors for the last course of the week-long tournament, the entire arena with its 3000 onlookers fell silent, and remained so throughout the course – only to burst into deafening cheers when the scoring marshals indicated their verdict: Strike to the shield to Evans, and… a barricade to Gradon.

Jan Gradon(left) and Stacy Evans(right) joust (photo by Richard Pearn)

After the Knight-Marshal had awarded Evans the all-important breakage point, and the ladies had confirmed that they abstained from awarding horsemanship points to any of the jousters, the results were clear. In a confrontation one might liken to the combat of David and Goliath, England had managed a most remarkable reversal of fortune and snatched the team title from the Empire with a score of 33 to 32. Against all odds, England won the Team Championship of “Arundel International Tournament 2013”.

Team Champions: Stacy Evans(left) and Mark Caple(right) of the Kingdom of England
(photo by Stephen Moss)

The rings given to the team champions were created by Nicky Wade of Gemmeus
(photo from Arundel International Tournament Facebook page)

Having remained undefeated throughout the tournament with a score of 15 out of a possible 15, Andreas Wenzel (Holy Roman Empire) won the Individual Championship of “Arundel International Tournament 2013”, receiving the gilt chain of the Order of Arundel and joining last year’s champion Dominic Sewell as the second Knight of the Order.

Individual Champion Andreas Wenzel(photo from Arundel Castle Facebook page)

Chain with images representing the four teams competing in 2013 created by Nicky Wade of Gemmaus (photo from Arundel International Tournament Facebook page)

Traditionally, the Individual Champion is offered the honour of acting as Knight-Marshal at next year’s tournament. Andreas accepted and was therefore presented with the marshal’s baton by Dominic Sewell who most ably wielded it as this year’s Knight-Marshal. Hence Andreas Wenzel will be the Knight-Marshal of the "Arundel International Tournament 2014".

Marshal's baton, hand-carved by Marcus Hamel(photo by Richard Pearn)

During the week the jousters also competed in a Hunting Skills(Mounted Skill at Arms) competition, which involved a variety of mounted disciplines using lances, swords, javelins and archery.

Mark Atkinson(top right), Kyle van Dolah(center) and Mark Caple(bottom left) during the Hunting Skills(Mounted Skill at Arms) competition(photos by Richard Pearn)

The Hunting Skills Trophy, a horn with gilt fittings, was awarded to Mark Caple (England), who achieved a clear lead over all other competitors displaying exquisite skill and horsemanship.

Hunting Horn and Garter of Chivalry created by Bayley Heritage Castings

Stacy Evans congratulates Mark Caple on winning the Hunting Horn(photo by Stephen Moss)

A large part of the tournament proceedings, including the award of horsemanship points, was presided over by a group of ladies, namely Kyle van Dolah (Leading Lady), Kate Vigurs (Event Presenter) and Catherine Tranter (Scoring Scribe). These ladies ran a systematic (but secret) score on each competitor’s performance against a range of chivalric virtues, with the objective to award a Chivalry Prize at the end of the tournament.

Kyle van Dolah(left) and Catherine Tranter(right) discuss the jousters (photo by Stephen Moss)

During the week a whole range of chivalric deeds were performed – for example Stacy Evans losing a jewel from his crest to Andreas Wenzel’s lance, and presenting Andreas with that same jewel afterwards as a gift. Wouter Nicolai, Max Knegjens and Andreas Wenzel entertaining the camp with their lute-play, and Jan Gradon giving a stunning performance when singing an ancient heroic song from his home country in Ben van Koert's honour.

Andreas Wenzel plays the lute (photo by Stephen Moss)

Or Ben van Koert bringing a chest of gold(chocolate) coins with him and advising his valets to throw a handful into the crowd every time one of his opponents broke a lance upon him. Ben then announced to the assembled jousters that he would present a jewel to the first man breaking a lance against him after all gold coins had been spent – a prize subsequently won by Marc Hamel on Saturday. And it was in fact Ben van Koert who the ladies deemed most worthy of the Arundel Castle Chivalry Prize, gaining the honour of wearing the award – a garter with gilt fittings and letters – around his greave.

Ben Van Koert receives the Garter of Chivalry from Catherine Tranter(photos by Stephen Moss)

The “Arundel International Tournament” is the largest tournament in the UK. It arguably is also the most challenging (on account of its duration) and the most flamboyant. Very similar to the tournaments of old, Arundel is characterized by competitors trying to outdo each other, through having the most extravagant crests, making the most impressive entry to the lists, wearing the most beautiful armour and clothing and displaying the most chivalric spirit.

Andreas Wenzel and Jan Gradon enter the lists preceded by the Imperial Fire Breather
(photo by Richard Pearn)

However, probably the most memorable moment of the “Arundel International Tournament 2013” occurred after the tension of the final had subsided, and after awards had been received by deserving competitors. Once all was said and done, Stacy Evans dismounted, grabbed a microphone, and began addressing the public. After introducing himself as the Tournament Director, he began speaking of his love for his partner, Leading Lady Kyle van Dolah. When he then produced a little black box and descended onto one knee, the baffled public erupted into cheers.

Stacy Evans proposes to Kyle van Dolah(photos by Stephen Moss)

Stacy's broken-voiced marriage proposal and the subsequent tearful “Yes” by his now-fiancee Kyle provided an amazingly beautiful end to a unique tournament.

Kyle van Dolah accepts Stacy Evans' proposal(photos by Stephen Moss)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Results for the 2013 Estes Park Jousting Tournament

Many people have been asking about the results of the jousting tournament at Estes Park. While I was unable to get the official results from the official scorekeeper, someone who worked with the scorekeepers during the tournament, Suzanne DeMink, was kind enough to send this list of results to "The Jousting Life".
“This info is straight off of the data sheets at Estes. The gentleman doing the numbers crunching gave me a copy.” – Suzanne DeMink

Mounted Skill at Arms(MSA) Overall:
1st place: Shane Adams
2nd place: Robbie Hubbard
3rd place: Charlie Andrews
4th place: Jeremy Johnson
5th place: Robert Combe
6th place: Ripper Moore

(right: Shane Adams skewers a ring at a previous event (photo from Knights of Valour website)

Light Armour Overall:
1st place: Robert Combe
2nd place: Shane Adams
3rd place: Charlie Andrews
4th place: Greg Boxma
5th place: Bob Naponen
6th place: Jeremy Johnson

(right: Robert Combe(left) and Ripper Moore(right) break lances at Estes Park 2013 (photo from Knights of Valour Facebook page)

Heavy Armour Overall:
1st place: Shane Adams
2nd place: Ripper Moore
3rd place: Charlie Andrews
4th place: Greg Boxma
5th place: Robert Combe
6th place: Joe Ambrosius

(right: Shane Adams jousts at a previous event (photo from Knights of Valour website)

Despite common belief, there was NO overall tournament champion award.

There was, however, a team award. Unfortunately, Suzanne did not get the results for that, but she is trying to contact the judges for that information so that she can share it with us.

If you are interested in a further breakdown of each day's results, Suzanne was kind enough to provide those as well:

Friday Mounted Skill at Arms(MSA):
1st Shane Adams
2nd Charlie Andrews
3rd Robbie Hubbard
4th Jeremy Johnson
5th Federico Serna
6th Ripper Moore.

Friday Light Armour:
1st Rob Combe
2nd Charlie Andrews
3rd Ripper Moore
4th Shane Adams
5th Ken Barton
6th Bob Naponen.

Friday Heavy Armour:
1st Ripper Moore
2nd Greg Boxma
3rd Charlie Andrews
4th Shane Adams.

Saturday Light Armour:
1st Charlie Andrews
2nd Shane Adams
3rd Rob Combe.

Saturday Heavy Armour:
1st Shane Adams
2nd Charlie Andrews
3rd Rob Combe.

Sunday Light Armour:
1st Rob Combe
2nd Shane Adams
3rd Ken Barton
4th Greg Boxma.

Sunday Heavy Armour:
1st Ripper Moore
2nd Shane Adams
3rd Rob Combe
4th Greg Boxma.

Many thanks to Suzanne DeMink for providing "The Jousting Life" with this information!

Random Pic: Bridle Maintenance

Holiday Hogg has an interesting technique for putting all the fiddly bits of a bridle back together after taking them apart to clean them.

Holiday Hogg wearing the re-assembled bridle(photo by Zhi Zhu/The Jousting Life)

Do you have any special tricks or techniques for dealing with all the various bits of tack and their maintenance?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Announcing "Lysts on the Lake 2013"

November 2: "Lysts on the Lake 2013"
Cedar Park, Texas, USA
part of "Fable Fest"

Please see the list of "2013 Jousting Tournaments" for listings of other tournaments this year. The list of "2014 Jousting Tournaments" should be coming soon.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Jousting Horses of "The Grand Tournament of St Charles"

Many of those who read this blog are just as interested in the jousting horses as they are in the jousters(as they should be, in my opinion). Those readers will be very pleased to learn that "The Grand Tournament of St Charles", in addition to having a champion jouster, also had a champion jousting horse. Rilius Maximus, called Riley, was named the Champion Horse for "The Grand Tournament of St Charles". Riley was chosen based on his overall excellent behavior as well as the fact that he carried international jouster Sarah Hay to first place in both the tilting(actual jousting) and MSA portions of the tournament.

Riley's owner, Andre Renier, was extremely proud of his big boy(photo by The Jousting Life)

"Over the years Riley has earned his place as one of the finest horses I have ever worked with. The partnership and team work I have with Riley is deep and abiding. It's great to have a partner that I can trust with my life and who trusts me with his." -- Andre Renier

Riley is a 14 year old thoroughbred/Percheron cross gelding owned by Andre Renier and ridden by international jouster Sarah Hay from Australia. Jousters who travel long distances to compete in tournaments are frequently offered the best and/or most experienced horses to ride, and Riley certainly served Sarah well. Riley and Sarah tied for first in the Mounted Skill at Arms (MSA) portion of the competition and earned the most points in the tilting(actual jousting) portion of the competition. You can see Riley and Sarah's run of the MSA course and several of her tilting passes on The Jousting Life YouTube Channel.

Riley, a Percheron cross gelding, flirts with the camera as he is ridden by Sarah Hay during practice(photo by The Jousting Life)

"It was a privilege to ride Andre Renier's horse Riley at the jousting event near Chicago a few weeks ago. The great thing about Riley was that he was a particularly willing and responsive horse to ride. I knew that if I kept cool, he'd keep that's the way I rode him...nice and relaxed. Not only does Riley look fantastic, he's really 'with' his rider. He waits to see what you want, then delivers what you ask for. I also like riding bigger horses. They feel so powerful. Riley was a deserving winner of the Champion Horse award and he'll always be a very special horse to me. Thanks again to Andre for allowing me to share some special moments with Riley." -- Sarah Hay

Of course, other horses also participated in the tournament, and here is some information about them:

Angel is an apx 17 - 20 year old quarab(quarterhorse/Arab cross) ridden by her owner Chris Greenway. This was Angel and Chris's first serious jousting competition. And they should be proud of holding their own among such an experienced group of jousters.

Angel, a quarab mare, with her owner and rider Chris Greenway(photo by Xin Zhao)

"Angel was a rescue case from the Virginia Tech veterinary school. As a three year old, she was 405 lbs, completely emaciated, with double pneumonia, and had to be held up in a sling after collapsing in a field. Now she is beautiful and has led a wonderful life teaching people to ride, jousting, and being a great way for people to learn about rescue horses. She was named Angel by the vet school because they didn't see how she could possibly survive without a guardian angel to help pull her through. Now all these years later she has done so much and touched so many people." -- Chris Greenway

Chevy is a 7 year old Percheron gelding owned by jouster Andre Renier. Chevy is Andre's secondary jousting horse and is still fairly new to the sport of jousting. He was mostly ridden by Andre during the tournament, but Stacy Wasson also rode him occasionally. Chevy and Andre tied for second in the MSA portion of the tournament, and you can see their run in this previous post.

Percheron gelding Chevy carries his owner Andre Renier into the jousting tournament
(photo by The Jousting Life)

"Chevy is one of the the most comfortable horses I've had the pleasure to ride. He is an amazing platform to joust from. He is just so solid under me. Because Chevy is so sweet and gentle, he has quickly become a crowd favorite." -- Andre Renier

Lucky, full name Lucky Strikes Gold, is a 20 year old quarterhorse gelding ridden by his owner Steve Hemphill during the Mounted Melee and Tippet Tag. (The Tippet Tag event was done just for fun and was not counted as part of the official competition.) Lucky and Steve won both the Mounted Melee and the Tippet Tag. During practice on the Friday before the tournament, Lucky also helped Holiday Hogg fulfill her dream of breaking a lance for the first time.

Quarterhorse gelding Lucky poses with his proud owner and rider Steve Hemphill after the tournament(photo by The Jousting Life)

"Lucky is a twenty year old registered American Quarter Horse gelding with an impressive cutting and reining pedigree. He is 15.2 hands high and, although he is a dedicated and fearless jousting competitor, his strength lies in his nimbleness in the melee and medieval games. Lucky has put up with a lot from me over the years but we've both learned and grown together over the past 11 years. When he isn't playing the part of a mighty warhorse, he does his best at dressage and eventing but especially loves fox hunting." -- Steve Hemphill

Luna is a 9 year old registered Appaloosa mare owned by Lesley Wilson and ridden by her husband Scott Wilson during the Mounted Melee. Her full name is FC Fancy Lena.

Luna, ridden by Holiday Hogg at Gulf Wars 2013(photo by Whitney Rahfeldt)

"Luna was 'rescued' for a pittance from an auction barn with no knowledge of her history. She already had several deep scars and a mistrust of riders, but some of the best ground manners and a real drive to do "exactly" what you asked of her. It's been a long, tough road to figure out how to get past her nervousness and make her happy to work - we know that she loves the Mounted Combat, where she can use her possible past training as a cutting horse. We've only had her eighteen months, but we are growing closer to a better relationship." -- Lesley Wilson

Pooh Bear is a quarterhorse mare ridden by her owner Jeffrey Basham. Pooh Bear is actually a close cousin to Lucky, Steve Hemphill's horse described earlier. Pooh Bear and Jeffrey came in second in the Mounted Melee portion of the competition and tied for second in the tilting(actual jousting) portion of the tournament.

Pooh Bear, a quarterhorse mare, and owner and rider Jeffrey Basham are introduced to the audience(photo by The Jousting Life)

"Pooh Bear is a 10 year old bay American Quarter Horse and her registered name is Royal Nelly. She comes from the bloodlines of two AQH hall of famers, Doc Bar and Zippo Pine Bar. She is a solid level 2 dressage horse and is currently in level 3 training. She and I are both mentored by Pam Fowler-Grace." -- Jeffrey Basham

Solovino is an Azteca (Andalusian/quarterhorse cross) stallion trained by Enrique Martines of the Monte Christo Equestrian Center. This was Solovino's very first experience with jousting. He had one day of jousting practice on Friday before competing on Saturday and Sunday. His inexperience showed occasionally, but everyone who rode him or had anything to do with him said what a wonderfully willing horse he was. Most horses take a lot of time to adjust to all the strangeness that a jousting tournament entails, but this amazing stallion seemed to take it in stride. In fact, Solovino and Stacy tied with Sarah Hay riding the Champion Horse Riley for first place in the Mounted Skill at Arms(MSA) portion of the tournament even though Solovino had never actually run an MSA course before, not even in practice. You can see Solovino and Stacy run the MSA course in this previous post.

Azteca stallion Solovino poses with rider Stacy Wasson after the tournament
(photo by The Jousting Life)

"As for Solovino himself -- he has utterly stolen my heart. Called up from the "Minors" at the last minute - Solovino had only seen Leo Lastre in armour a handful of times before we met him. When we arrived, we had two days to turn him into a war horse. His trainer Enrique Martinez thought he would do well - but he had never trained a horse for jousting. Alert and curious Solovino took in all the chaos of the festival around him with interest and enthusiasm. In all my years of jousting, I've never met a horse who took to it with such ease and serenity. Eager to learn, he was responsive, yet unhurried - a perfect gentleman. I got the impression that he was delighted to go down the list with me, but would have been just as happy to sit down for tea and scones - whatever was my pleasure. You couldn't ask for more in a jousting horse -- my only regret is that I had to leave him in Illinois." -- Stacy Wasson

Solovino, the Azteca stallion, flies down the tiltyard with rider Jeff Wasson during practice(photo by The Jousting Life)

"I was a little nervous since Solovino had never jousted before. Usually it takes awhile to train a horse to have someone in armour on them, then to run down the list at another horse and rider, and then on top of that with a lance, and to have the lance shatter on impact. It is a lot of variables, and much to our delight Solovino had no problems at all with any of it. And on top of it he was a stallion -- which also has it's own set of issues. So I felt we really lucked out." -- Jeff Wasson

Tanner Tanner is a 5 year old appaloosa gelding who is still new to the world of jousting. He was ridden mainly by his owner Scott Wilson, but also ridden by Stacy and Jeff Wasson occasionally during the tournament.

Appaloosa gelding Tanner practices jousting with his owner and rider Scott Wilson
(photo by The Jousting Life)

"Tanner's full name is Lads Tan Executive, but at home we sometimes call him Mr. Wuffles. I have been training him to joust for about a year and this is his first joust. He has finally decided that it is not so bad. I hope that he soon gets bored with it." -- Scott Wilson

"I also rode Tanner, Scott Wilson's horse. This was Tanner's first tournament and I think he did really well. This was a good experience for him. He'll make a great Jousting horse." -- Jeff Wasson

Tinkerbell Tinkerbell is a 10 year old Friesian/Percheron cross mare ridden mainly by her owner Steve Hemphill, but also occasionally ridden by Stacy Wasson. Tinkerbell and Steve tied for second place in both the MSA portion of the tournament and the tilting(actual jousting) portion of the tournament. You can see Tinkerbell and Steve's run of the MSA course in this previous post.

Friesian cross mare Tinkerbell shows great form during practice with owner and rider Steve Hemphill(photo by The Jousting Life)

"Tinkerbell is a 10 year old Friesian/Percheron cross mare and at 17.1 hands high, she has a heart to match. I'd known "Tink" for about a year and wasn't looking for another jousting horse when the opportunity to purchase her presented itself about two years ago. After seeing that my jousting saddle and trailer fit her, I fell in love and took her home and she's carefully held my heart ever since. Although she hadn't competed in jousting before, she rode to victory in her first joust during the "Lysts on the Lake 2011" tournament just one month after I bought her (against the largest field of competitive jousters in modern jousting history at that time). When she's not flying around the tilt yard, Tink has found a niche in dressage, eventing and fox hunting too....although sometimes she tries to convince me that the most efficient way to get past a jumping obstacle is to bulldoze through it vs. jump it!" -- Steve Hemphill

You can find out more about "The Grand Tournament of St Charles" which took place during "The Festival of the Horse & Drum" in these previous articles:

"Mounted Skill at Arms at the Festival of the Horse and Drum"

"Andre Renier Wins 'The Grand Tournament of St Charles'"

"More Information and Video from 'The Grand Tournament of St Charles'"

You can see more pictures from the tournament in "The Jousting Life" Facebook page albums:

Festival of the Horse & Drum 2013 Friday Practice

Grand Tournament of St Charles 2013 - Saturday Jousting

Grand Tournament of St Charles 2013 - Sunday Jousting