The Jousting Life

Monday, May 19, 2014

Jim Myers Wins Lysts on the Lake 2014

"Lysts on the Lake 2014" was held May 8 - 11 near Austin, Texas, USA. The tournament consisted of three competitions based on skills and one competition based on honourable behavior. A winner was named for each competition, and based on how well the competitor did in all four competitions, an overall champion of the tournament was decided.

Seven people took part in the jousting competition. Jim Myers, on his Shire/TB cross gelding Moose, came in first, Sean Gulick earned second place, and Galen Bevel and Scott Wilson tied for third.

Jim Myers on his Shire/TB gelding Moose at Lysts 2014(photo by Dave Rauum)

There were also seven participants in the mounted melee. Sean Gulick, on his Missouri foxtrotter gelding Red, overcame all other competitors to win the melee, with Jim Myers coming in second place and Scott Wilson earning third.

Sean Gulick on his Missouri Foxtrotter gelding Red(photo by

Ten people competed in the mounted skill at arms course. Jeffrey Basham(who was the champion of last year's Lysts) received the highest number of points riding his quarter horse mare Pooh Bear. Arien Jade came in second, only one point behind him. And Jim Myers and Scott Wilson tied for third one point behind her.

Jeffrey Basham throws a javelin at the target during the MSA Course(photo by Dave Rauum)

Based on his behavior throughout the competition, Douglas Wagner was chosen by the Lady of Honour as Most Chivalrous. A choice that was proven to be the correct one, when he was spotted cleaning up the kitchen after the competitions were over. Because Douglas was unable to bring a horse of his own to the tournament, a couple of different people allowed him to borrow theirs during the various competitions. For the jousting, he generally rode Arien Jade's solid paint mare Daisy, but occasionally rode others. He rode Michelle Caddel's TB/Fells Pony gelding Taran for the mounted melee and mounted skill at arms course.

Douglas Wagner does mounted archery as part of the MSA Course(photo by Dave Rauum)

The prizes for this year's Lysts on the Lake were various bottles of wine and liquor with horse and/or knight themed labels. When asked about the prizes, Dawn Hemphill, the Lady of Honour for Lysts on the Lake, described how much fun she and a helpful clerk at Spec's had running around the store searching for appropriately labelled bottles.

Horse and knight themed liquor bottles were the prizes for Lysts 2014(photo by The Jousting Life)

This year's champion, Jim Myers, was kind enough to answer a few questions about his experiences as a jouster and during the tournament:

What inspired you to learn how to joust?
I’ve always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie, and have likewise always loved the medieval era. Knights in armor, Arthurian legends and all that. I started riding again a few years back and was really drawn to it when I saw folks jousting. Jousting is something that I only dreamed of in my youth, I never imagined that I might actually be able to do it. And then I saw these guys actually doing it…and they helped me to begin learning. There are a lot of really inspiring people jousting out there.

How did you go about actually learning how to joust?
Steve Hemphill and Dave Wise were instrumental in encouraging me to undertake learning to joust, and very informative and helpful getting started: horse training and riding, armor, lance techniques, and so much more. Then, again thanks to Steve and crew, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a three-day beginner’s class with Luke Binks at Lysts on the Lake a few years back.

Luke Binks teaching a class at Lysts 2012(photo by The Jousting Life)

Luke is a wonderful instructor and somehow managed to connect enough dots for me to actually be able to pull off a few runs down the tilt without killing myself -- or anyone else (much to everyone’s surprise, I believe). Since then I’ve been learning to ride better and practicing a lot, with further instruction and critiques along the way from Steve, Dave, Sarah Hay, Scott Wilson, Sean Gulick, Tiffany Geisendorf and a few others.

Some of it managed to get through my thick skull, and I keep trying to improve. I really have to give a lot of credit to my horse, though. Moose is incredibly willing, patient and forgiving, and knows his job (probably better than I know mine). He makes it so I can concentrate mainly on my opponent, which makes all the difference in the world. I’m very lucky to have found him.

Tell us about your horse Moose.
Moose is a 16hh, 9yo Shire/TB cross. He was raised by three very nice ladies near Kansas City, and was pretty green when I bought him 5-years ago. We’ve spent a lot of time riding trails, running down a tilt and even chasing a few cattle around from time to time. He has become my steadfast partner in crime, and I can’t imagine jousting without him.

Moose with rider Jim Myers(photo by The Jousting Life)

What part of learning to joust has given you the most trouble?
Improving my riding skills.

What are you most proud of when it comes to jousting?
I guess just being able to actually joust. It still amazes me when I think about it.

What was your favorite part of this year's tournament?
The camaraderie of all the folks involved.

What would you like to say about/to the others involved in the tournament?
It is an honor to be able to take part in this amazing tournament, and even more so to be able to call these folks friends. I can’t say thanks enough to all the people who work so hard to make Lysts such an incredible event.

What do you hope for in the future with regards to jousting?
I hope to continue having fun…anything more is a bonus.

Lady of Honour Dawn Hemphill poses with Moose and Jim Myers after the tournament(photo by The Jousting Life)

Related articles:
Chivalric Martial Arts International Symposium, Day 1

Charlie Andrews Wins More Than Just Another Tournament at "Lysts on the Lake 2012"

Video from the First Day of "Lysts on the Lake 2013"

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