The Jousting Life

Friday, August 29, 2014

Jousters Featured in Documentary about Richard III

Several contemporary competitive jousters are featured in a new documentary about Richard III, including Dr. Tobias Capwell, Dominic Sewell, Arne Koets and Joram van Essen.

Richard III: The New Evidence(posted by Gemma Payne)

Related articles:
An Interview with Toby Capwell, Champion of Tournament of the Phoenix 2014

Video: Toby Capwell Explains His Passion for Jousting

An Interview with Dr. Tobias Capwell: Jouster at The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel 2012

Arne Koets Comments on the Tournament So Far, Plus More TV News Coverage of the Grand Tournament at Schaffhausen

Joram van Essen Wins St Hallvard's 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Scores for Arundel International Tournament 2014

The annual Arundel International Tournament took place July 22 - 27. A previous article announced the names of the Individual Champion, Andy Deane, and the Team Champions, Ben van Koert and Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell of the Burgundian Alliance. Here are the scores for the rest of the competitors:

Mounted Skill at Arms:
1) Jan Gradon (PLN) - 38 points
2) Jarek Struczynski (PLN) - 34 points
3) Andy Deane (ENG) - 29 points
4) Per Estein Prois-Rohjell (BDY) - 23 points
4) Tina Steiner (HRE) - 23 points
6) Patrice Rolland (FRA) - 21 points
7) Steve Gagnon (FRA) - 20 points
8) Phil Leitch (ENG) - 18 points
9) Ben van Koert (BDY) - 14 points

Note that this year the skill-at-arms was not limited to the jousters, but also included non-jousting competitors on an invitational basis. Stacy Evans, Kyle van Dolah, Mark Atkinson, Ben Atkinson and Michael Collin also competed, but decided to remain outside of contention for the prize.

Ben Atkinson slices a cabbage in half during the MSA competition(photo by ARW Photography)

Joust (Individual Scores):
1) Andy Deane (ENG) - 10 victory points - 83 strike points
2) Ben van Koert (BDY) - 10 victory points - 77 strike points
3) Jan Gradon (PLN) - 10 victory points - 74 strike points
4) Patrice Rolland (FRA) - 8 victory points - 73 strike points
5) Jarek Struczynski (PLN) - 8 victory points - 68 strike points
6) Per Estein Prois-Rohjell (BDY) - 7 victory points - 69 strike points
6) Phil Leitch (ENG) - 7 victory points - 69 strike points
8) Steve Gagnon (FRA) - 5 victory points - 53 strike points

For an explanation of the scoring system including victory and strike points, please refer to last year's article.

Jarek Struczynski jousts Ben van Koert during Arundel Castle International Tournament 2014(photo by Stephen Moss)

Joust (Team Scores):
1) England - 19 victory points - 213 strike points
2) Burgundian Alliance - 14 victory points - 195 strike points
3) France - 14 victory points - 181 strike points
4) Poland - 13 victory points - 183 strike points

Team scores are higher than the sum of individual scores as two-man jousts count towards the team score only, not for individual scores.

Team France, Steve R. Gagnon and Patrice Rolland(photo by Ian Foss)

The Final:
Burgundian Alliance - 37 points England - 31 points

Ben van Koert (BDY) - 21 points
Andy Deane (ENG) - 18 points
Per Estein Prois-Rohjell (BDY) - 16 points
Phil Leitch (ENG) - 13 points

Scoresheet and one of the prize rings(photo by Ben van Koert/Kaos Historical Media)

Many thanks to Andreas Wenzel for providing this information.

Related articles:
Other articles about Arundel Castle International Tournament

Interview with Ben van Koert, Half of the Winning Team at Arundel Castle International Tournament 2014

Burgundian Alliance Wins Team Championship at Arundel Castle International Tournament 2014

Arundel Castle International Jousting Tournament 2013

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On The Road to Bicolline

The first Tournoi International de Joute du Duché de Bicolline begins this weekend, August 30 - September 1, in Quebec, Canada. Several of the jousters are already in town for the tournament and have been doing some promotional appearances. Photographer Eric Dube was there to capture some fun photos of the four jousters who all happen to wear black armour – Jezz Smith, Marc Hamel, Patrice Rolland and Steve R. Gagnon. Here are a few of the pictures:

Bicolline Road? with Patrice Rolland, Jezz Smith, Marc Hamel and Steve R. Gagnon
(photo by Eric Dube)

The Four Jousters! with Steve R. Gagnon, Jezz Smith, Patrice Rolland and Marc Hamel
(photo by Eric Dube)

Bar Fight! with Patrice Rolland, Marc Hamel, Jezz Smith and Steve R. Gagnon
(photo by Eric Dube)

Et tu, Jezz? with Marc Hamel and Jezz Smith(photo by Eric Dube)

Heavy Metal! with Steve R. Gagnon, Jezz Smith, Patrice Rolland and Marc Hamel
(photo by Eric Dube)

Click on these links to see the photo album of these promotional pictures on the Tournoi International de Joute du Duché de Bicolline Facebook page.

Related articles:
Le Pas d'Armes du Papegault 2014

Les pas d'armes du Papegault Takes Place This Weekend in Quebec

Guest Writer, Jouster Marc Hamel: Acts of Valor

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Le Pas d'Armes du Papegault 2014

Text and photos provided by Caroline LaBrie
Edited by Zhi Zhu

A brand new event took place on June 7 and 8 at popular LARP site Le Duché de Bicolline. Les Pas d'Armes du Papegault is an invitational tournament featuring mounted skill at arms(MSA individual skills-quintain, rings, cut and thrust), mounted hunting skills (archery and javelin) and, of course, jousting. The event brought together 14 participants from all over Quebec.

Michel Arsenault, Jean-sebastien Drapeau, Jessy Dufresne and Stephane Tramblay are just a few of the competitors at Les Pas d'Armes du Papegault 2014(photo by Eric Dube)

In the morning, guests chose between a mounted archery clinic led by master archer Patrick Doiron (Escole du Grand Arc) or a weapons training clinic offered by Marc Hamel, international jouster (pollaxe, javelin and lance). Brand-new equipment and lots of new mounts were put to the test and performed brilliantly.

Ann Titley participates in the archery clinic at Les Pas d'Armes du Papegault 2014
(photo by Eric Dube)

Later in the day, under a bright blue sky, the riders competed in a friendly competition organized by Productions Arion. Reenactment group Montjoie served as marshals, while our herald, Jean-François Blais, better known as "Jactance," entertained the crowd with colourful facts about jousting and skills at arms.

Jean-François Blais heralds Les Pas d'Armes du Papegault 2014(photo by Eric Dube)

Results for the first edition of Les Pas d'Armes du Papegault held at Le Duché de Bicolline on June 7th & 8th 2014:

Mounted Skill at Arms:
1st Jean-Sébastien Drapeau 14pts
2nd Jessy Dufresne 12pts
3rd Alexandre Marcotte 11pts

Jean-Sebastien Drapeau, winner of the MSA competition at Les Pas d'Armes du Papegault 2014
(photo by Eric Dube)

Saturday Joust:
1st Jessy Dufresne 16pts
2nd Jean-Sébastien Drapeau 15pts
3rd Michel Arsenault 14pts

Jessy Dufresne won the Saturday Joust at Les Pas d'Armes du Papegault 2014
(photo by Eric Dube)

Mounted Hunting Skills:
1st Jessy Dufresne 12pts
2nd Hélène Lacombe 10pts
3rd TIE between Patrick Doiron and Jean-Sebastien Drapeau 9pts

Jessy Dufresne also won the Mounted Hunting Skills competition at Les Pas d'Armes du Papegault 2014(photo by Eric Dube)

Sunday Joust:
1st Stéphane Tremblay 25pts
2nd Jean-Sebastien Drapeau 23pts
3rd Marc Hamel 12pts

Stephane Trembley, first place Sunday Joust, jousts Jean-Sebastien Drapeau, second place Sunday Joust, during Les Pas d'Armes du Papegault 2014(photo by Eric Dube)

It was exciting to test the new set-up, as competitors will soon be flying in from England, New Zealand, France and the United States for the Duché de Bicolline International Jousting Tournament on August 30, 31 and September 1. For the event, 16 competitors will face off in this wonderful and unique environment.

This second edition of Les Pas d'Armes du Papegault (IJL affiliated) will welcome eight competitors, and the first Tournoi International de joute du Duché de Bicolline will unite eight well-known jousters from around the world (Worldjoust affiliated). The event will feature incredible displays of jousting, mounted archery, mounted skill at arms and ground combat, as well as reenactment camps, jesters, craftsmen, historians and presentations for all ages.

Don't miss this incredible event on August 30, 31 and September 1!

Related Articles:
Les pas d'armes du Papegault Takes Place This Weekend in Quebec

Video: Chevalier de l'Ordre du Frene 2014

Quebec Team, Order of the Dragon Wins “Le Tournoi du Lys d'Argent 2012”

Courtly Games & Fun: True melee and Jousting in Hämeenlinna

The jousting group Rohan Tallit recently put on a display of jousting, mounted skill at arms and mounted melee in Finland.

According to Jaako Nuotio, the leader of Rohan Tallit:
"It is an event held yearly in town of Tavastehus in Finland. Selected jousters will compete against each other in skills & jousting & melee. And to keep people interested there is also quite much visual elements in place as in later medieval times. There is around 20000 spectators each year."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

POV Video of the Last Six Jousting Passes at St Olav's Tournament 2014

St Olav's Tournament 2014 took place July 28 - 30 as part of Olavsfestdagene in Trondheim, Norway. In this video, Ivar Mauritz-Hansen(who is wearing the POV camera) faces first Thomas Andersen, who earned second place in jousting at St Olav's Tournament, and then Per Estein Prøis- Røhjell, who earned first place in jousting and was named Tournament Champion. Ivar, himself, earned third place in jousting.

POV video of the last six jousting passes at St Olav's Tournament 2014
(video by Ivar Mauritz-Hansen)

When I complimented Ivar Mauritz-Hansen on this very nice POV(Point of View) footage, he responded:
"POV? If I had this good a view from inside that helm, then jousting would be easy. :P "

Ivar Mauritz-Hansen(photo by Stian Green)

Related articles:
Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell Wins St Olav's Tournament 2014

Random Pic: Practicing for St Hallvard's

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Stichting HEI Posts about the White Bear Tournament in Nyborg Slott

For the past three years, the historical education group Stichting HEI has produced a high quality non-choreographed jousting demonstration at Nyborg Slot in Denmark. Here is what they had to say about this year's tournament:

In the weekend of 5 and 6 July the town square of Nyborg saw the hosting of the White Bear Tournament by Foundation HEI for the third time in a row. Like the previous year there were six knights participating, judged by the Herald Bear. Also like previous year lances and clubs made from one solid piece of wood with steel coronels and grips were used. It was sublime!

Please take a look in the photo galleries below to see what feats of arms occurred on the tournament square of Nyborg. Many a lance and club were broken and in the melee somebody even got wrestled off his horse. Instead of the hunting demonstration of last year we paraded through town this edition. In the fifteenth century many tournaments were preceded by a flashy column through the city, like the Vesperye as it was called in Bruges, the home city of our tournament company of the White Bear.

To see the photo albums, click here.

Bertus Brokamp in The Joust at the White Bear Tournament(photo from Stichting HEI)

Related articles:
Historical Jousting Tournament at Nyborg Slot in Denmark

Vera Bos Talks about Her Upcoming Documentary "The White Bear"

Monday, August 11, 2014

Interview with Ben van Koert, Half of the Winning Team at Arundel International Tournament 2014

The annual Arundel International Tournament was held this year from July 22 - 27. As was announced in a previous article, Andy Deane won the Individual Championship while the Burgundian Alliance consisting of Ben van Koert and Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell won the Team Championship.

Ben van Koert and Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell displaying their Team Championship rings in front of Arundel Castle(photo by Victoria Dawe)

Before Ben van Koert began jousting competitively at tournaments, he created some wonderful videos of previous jousting tournaments with his production company, Kaos Historical Media. Although his skill as a videographer will be missed(though hopefully he will still produce the occasional video), his skill as a jouster is certainly a nice addition to the jousting community.

Congratulations on winning the Team Championship with Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell(aka Pelle) at the Arundel Castle International Tournament 2014!
Thank you!

What were your favorite moments of the tournament?
This is a very hard question. With an event like this, especially one that goes on for so many days, a lot of great things happen. There were so many fantastic moments. One evening we had a spontaneous music and singing moment where such wonderful things happened. Jan Gradon did a great impersonation of a modern pop singer and urged us on to "hit him one more time". Many more songs were sung, and after a while, with great timing, Andy Deane recited "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Tennyson followed by Kipling's ‘The Last of the Light Brigade’. It was a most haunting display of theatre and poetry; beautiful and sad at the same time.

Another great moment to remember was my teammate Pelle’s impression of Donk, who is one of the horses he really liked to joust on. The impression was spot on and it was not long before ‘to donk’ became the go to verb for smashing.

On a jousting side, my favorite moments were when, after a very bad training session, I had sorted out my equipment and everything worked exactly right for the entire week. After this I jousted very consistently and was hyper focused. That state of alertness is so addictive.

Ben van Koert jousts Jarek Struczynski during Arundel 2014(photo by Mark Ainsley)

Another very nice thing about this tournament are the relaxed moments between all the action. The communal food moments, swimming in the lido in the evening, going to the pub for a nice drink. It all adds up.

When and how did you become involved in jousting?
My first encounter with competitive jousting was in 2004, at the event ‘Ridders van de Haar’, where me and my best friend were working as fire-artists. Many well-known names of the international jousting scene were competing there and it was very spectacular.

At that time, I did have some armour, and I had been sword-fighting since 1999, but the jousting – and even quality reenactment for that matter – seemed like an impossible thing to attain. We performed in medievalesque theatre rags to fit the theme, but we were quite out of place amongst the quality reenactors there.

Fire show at Ridders van de Haar 2004(photo by Mieke van den Bosch)

When we were invited to perform there again, we made the effort of looking more historically correct than the year before so we would fit in better with the rest of the displays. When this attempt was met with much enthusiasm from the local reenactment communities, we were invited to perform at more medieval events, which also gave us a steady supply of extra income. The cross pollination of being at medieval events slowly turned us into reenactors ourselves and gave me a passion for beautiful armour, and with the extra income, I was able to slowly assemble a better collection of armour than what I’d previously used.

All this time my friend and I operated independently from any groups, but we became friends with many reenactment groups. One of these groups was ‘Compagnie d’Ordonnance’, a Dutch group portraying the 5th company of Charles the Bold. This group shared a lot of my values of how to portray this period, and so I became a member. With the CdO group we attended a number of tournaments on foot, and we had a blast doing so.

Foot combat at Wapenpas van St Joris 2010(photo by Pixxer)

I really started getting into the medieval tournament vibe, and as many people in the CdO are also involved with Stichting HEI, I started to help out with the jousting tournaments too, as a valet on foot in 2008. This was also the year when I started taking horse-riding lessons, as I wanted to experience the different perspective and to feel how much changes when you’re on a horse. I still had no ambition to ever joust myself, as I still thought it’d be too far fetched for me.

Everything changed when I was invited to join Arne Koets as a valet to help him at Tournament of the Phoenix.

Arne Koets and Ben van Koert at Tournament of the Phoenix(photo by Bob Naegele)

Talking with the jousters over there and hearing their insights to the sport really made me curious. Witnessing the big hits and the competitive, yet courteous, atmosphere awakened something in me. Fighting on foot in mock warfare was fun, but it always was a compromise. The tournament on foot made things a lot better, as it was ‘a plaisance’, so we didn’t try to kill each other, just like they did back then.

However in the joust there is no compromise at all. It’s hit or miss, and it all comes down to doing it with as much flair as possible. Just being able to hit isn’t the sport. Being able to present a good target; making a good presentation at all moments before, during and after a run; and being a good sport about it all; makes it very challenging. Everything has to work together perfectly to make it look beautiful. That’s what I learned to love about jousting back then, and it still holds true to me.

Everything has to work together perfectly to make it look beautiful. That’s what I learned to love about jousting back then, and it still holds true to me.

Arne helped me along a great deal by taking me to a Destrier training session, as well as giving me some fantastic learning opportunities with several of the horses at the Hofreitschüle in Bückeburg for which I’m very grateful. That really gave me a kick start. I worked very hard to reach my goals and with great support from the people at Stichting HEI and Destrier I was able to join my first joust as soon as 2011.

Ben's first joust in 2011(photo by Anton Rustenhoven)

Please tell us about your armour.
This suit of armour always was a work in progress, but in 2007, I chose to start moving towards replicating the brass effigy of Richard Quartermaine. It’s a very distinct style, which reminded me of some Burgundian tapestries. I think it could be interpreted as Italian export for the low-countries market. To finish it, I’ll still need the arms to be replicated, and to be honest, I’ll need to get the pauldrons redone as well.

Every suit is a work in progress and there are still many small things I’d like to change. However it works very well, and that’s what’s most important. It’s all hardened and tempered high carbon steel and I totally trust it.

Richard Quartermaine's effigy and Ben van Koert in armour(photo by Anton Rustenhoven)

My friends always jokingly say that I don’t collect armour, but that I collect armourers and there’s truth in that. The current list of people who have worked on my armour is quite extensive. In no particular order: Stanislav Prosek, Mark Vickers, Jeff Hedgecock, Luke Binks, Emrys, Albert Collins, Per Lillemund-Jensen.
Then I’ve still got some exchange pieces by White Rose and some indian maille. At the moment I’d really like to stick to one particular armourer, but there are still a lot of people whose work is really beautiful and I’d love to add them to the list too eventually.

I love the fact that I’ve got four totally different exchange helms for different disciplines and I love that they’re all by some of the top armourers of the world today. They really are the pride and joy of my collection and they have a very prominent place in my house.

How did you become a competitor at the Arundel Castle International Tournament?
This year was my fourth year at the Arundel Castle International Tournament, although I was a squire and scoring judge for the first two years. The second year Stacy (the organizer) asked me to bring along my armour so I could be the stand-in, in case something happened to one of the other riders.

At the Arundel Castle International Tournament, when the castle opens to the audience, two armoured riders and a lady are sent out of the castle to stand in front of the main gate to welcome the audience in. When Stacy asked me to do the meet and greet in front of the castle on the Saturday that year, I was very happy. Imagine my happiness when I was invited to do a jousting pass with Andreas Wenzel after the meet and greet. I did the pass, and it was a very nice double break. That was a dream come true.

The next year the event expanded from three teams to four, and I was allowed to enter team Burgundy alongside HEI mate Wouter Nicolai. That year I didn’t score very high, but I had a great time. I was extremely grateful to be there, and in the end I won the chivalry prize for that year.

While I was there, I made this short video of a pass with Jan Gradon:

Lancecam of jousting pass between Ben van Koert and Jan Gradon during Arundel International Tournament 2013(video by Ben van Koert/Kaos Historical Media)

This year Wouter was too occupied with the great many shaped solid lance tournaments around Europe to compete at Arundel, and when Stacy asked me to become team captain instead, I asked Per-Estein if he would want to join me in a team and he happily agreed. Historically Norway wasn’t a part of Burgundy of course, so we came up with the Burgundian Alliance.

Please tell us about the horses that you rode during the tournament.
All competitors are required to ride several different horses at this tournament to make the competition as fair as possible, so everyone has to get out of his comfort zone. All the horses at the tournament were fantastic at their job, but with some horses you have a better connection than with others, and as the week progresses you get to know the horses better too. All the competitors help each other out by telling each other as much as possible about any quirks, and the horse suppliers, Atkinson Action Horses, do a fantastic job as well to help everyone perform as well as possible.

Over the course of the week I rode Ted, Aramis, Alfie and Archie. They were all lovely, rock solid jousting horses, but I had a good connection with Aramis, and I was very glad I could ride the finals on him.

When you are at the site getting ready for the tournament, is there anything special that you do?
My ritual is just donning the armour and going over it meticulously before putting it on the final time. If there’s anything wrong or impending failure I want to be conscious about it and repair it straight away, so I often take my time to armour up well in advance and oil the armour before and after every use.

Before the skill at arms I always visualize the run many times over in my head long before doing the run, as it helps me make split second decisions a lot easier.

When you are at the end of the tilt waiting to make a jousting pass, what are you usually thinking about?
I don’t think consciously at this point. I get hyper focused on the things that matter at that point, contact points with the horse, the position of the opponent and the position of the squire with the lance.
The release comes after the run.

What would you like to say about/to your teammate Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell(aka Pelle)?
Pelle did a marvelous job and had a great attitude about the tournament. He’s a great optimist and a great teammate. My only regret is that I couldn’t joust against him, because he was on the same team. I hope to catch up on that some day.

Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell and Ben van Koert, teammates during Arundel Castle International Tournament 2014(photo by ARW Photography)

What would you like to say about/to the others involved in the tournament?

This tournament has a very special atmosphere. The group of people who are involved in this are all very highly skilled and have worked at this tournament for many, many years. Every year some people change, but there’s always a hardcore group of people who make it come together, and by doing so, they create a vibe which makes this tournament bigger than the sum of it’s parts.

Every tournament has it’s own special feeling, but coming to Arundel gives me a feeling of coming home, and everyone works their hardest to make it all come together. If I start naming people, I feel like I would leave out others who also deserve as much praise, so I won’t.

What are your plans/hopes for the future?
I’m looking forward to participating in this fantastic sport for many years to come, and to improving my skills. But above all, I hope my wife and son can come see me joust at the next opportunity. Gerlinde has been very supportive of me, and she hasn’t seen me joust because of her pregnancy and care of our little boy, so I really hope she can join me on my next adventure.

Ben Jr. and Gerlinde Viveen(photo by Ben van Koert)

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and best of luck in the future.
Thank you for the interview and for The Jousting Life website. It’s very nice to have one platform where so much news about the jousting scene is brought together.

You are very welcome!

Ben van Koert during Arundel 2014(photo by ARW Photography)

Related articles:
Burgundian Alliance Wins Team Championship at Arundel Castle International Tournament 2014

Arundel Castle International Jousting Tournament 2013

New Video of "The Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel"

Training for the Joust with Destrier

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Tournament of the Golden Chain at the Middelaldercentret 2014

The Tournament of the Golden Chain took place August 1 – 3, at the Middelaldercentret in Nykøbing, Storstrom, Denmark. It was produced by Arne Koets who has been working for the past several years to organize a group of jousters and support crew that are able to create jousting tournaments which are as historically accurate to the fifteenth century as possible. The idea to create these historically accurate tournaments began when he met Wolfgang Krischke of the Hofreitschule Bückeburg while jousting with Toby Capwell and Dominic Sewell with support crew provided by the Company of St George and the Guild of St Olav.

Arne Koets at the Tournament of the Golden Chain 2014(photo by Middelaldercentret)

Several years later, after succeeding in producing the highly regarded Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel, Arne wrote to the director at the Middelaldercentret about doing a tournament in their medieval village. Not only did the center provide the funds necessary to bring in eight historical jousters, they also had entirely new costumes made for their own members who would be acting as ground crew during the tournament.

The tournament lasted three days with a session of jousting and a mounted melee each day. The lances used for the tournament were shaped solid wood lances with steel coronels. These lances are naturally tapered from tip to base since they are made from small pine or fir trees. Over the course of three days, the jousters broke approximately 42 of these lances. They also broke several of the hefty wooden clubs used during the mounted melees.

Tournament of the Golden Chain at the Middelaldercentret(video by vem2311)

Each day of the three day tournament was a separate competition. The first day was won by Arne Koets; Joram van Essen won the second day; and the third day was won by Dominic Sewell.

Joram van Essen at the Tournament of the Golden Chain 2014
(photo by Middelaldercentret)

When asked about the tournament created by Arne Koets and his team, the curator of the Middelaldercentret had this to say:

"The Medieval Centre in Denmark is a research organization that presents its result to the public by use of re-enactment in a carefully and authentically reconstructed environment. Through the years the Centre has built up many valuable contacts to the leading persons and groups of the European reenactment scene, and when the chance came to present the jousting group organized by Arne Koets to our local community, there were no doubt in our minds. These knights have an approach to living history that is second to none and have the same philosophy as the Medieval Centre: Why do it, if you don´t do it 100%! – realizing that you can only get something that one could call “a high-possibility statement” and what you have set out to do will never end.

"We learned at lot this year, and if we get a chance to do it again next year, it will be even better. The visitors, of course, may not all be aware of this, but looking at this group of jousters, you have a distinct feeling that this is what is driving the group – a passion to learn and to do their best. It was absolutely wonderful to experience this for the Medieval Centre during the three days the tournament lasted. We had a great time and would welcome this show back to the town of Sundkøbing any time." – Peter Vemming, director mag art

Arne Koets had a very good tournament, stating "I hit and broke all but one of my lances so that was nice." But he was most excited about something else entirely.
"They gave me the treat today to shoot the world's largest trebuchet. They also gave us the honour of doing a fire shot. Yes, stone shot on fire! They have the world's tallest trebuchet, and they are the builders of the Warwick Castle trebuchet. They do loads of really cool projects." – Arne Koets
It seems as though the Middelaldercentret and Arne Koets share a mutual admiration.

One of the Mounted Melees during the Tournament of the Golden Chain 2014. You can see one of the center's war machines in the background. (photo by Middelaldercentret)

Related articles:
Arne Koets Comments on the Tournament So Far, Plus More TV News Coverage of the Grand Tournament at Schaffhausen

Re-Creating Medieval and Renaissance Saddles: Part One

Arne Koets: Tournament Organizer and Jouster at the "Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel"

An Interview with Arne Koets: Chosen by the Ladies Jury as the Bravest Competitor at "The Grand Tournament in Sankt Wendel"

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Interview with Sean George, Half of the Winning Team England at the Tournament of King Jan III at Gniew Castle 2014

The Tournament of King Jan III took place June 27 - 28 at Zamek Gniew(Castle Anger) in Poland. There were both a Team and an Individual competition.  Petter Ellingsen of Norway won the individual competition.  Team England, made up of Sean George and Steve Mallet, won the Team Competition.

Team England, Steve Mallet and Sean George, at Zamek Gniew 2014
(photo by StudioA)

Sean George kindly agreed to answer a few questions about himself and the tournament:

When and how did you become involved in jousting?
I first saw contemporary jousting at Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex, UK around 2002. The jousting group was Destrier, and I spoke with Rob Martin afterwards for advice. I immediately took intensive riding lessons from my friend and fellow Jouster Steve Mallet. He recommend me to Destrier as a potential Jouster. I Joined Destrier – at that time run by Dominic Sewell – in 2003, and I won my first tournament back at Herstmonceux Castle in 2005.

Considering all the different aspects of jousting, what are you currently focused on improving?
I am making upgrades to my armour and equipment which is an ongoing project.

Please tell us about your armour.
My Armour is a Milanese Harness, which I based on the painting of St George by Andrea Mantegna 1460 with the exception of the arm harness which is copied from a 1470 Milanese harness with a German influence from Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, Museum im Prediger. I love how the arms look and work for me, the cuirass is fairly new and fits great!I would like to change my pauldrons but for now I will be adding new re-enforcement plates. Under my armour I wear an Italian style arming doublet based on a fresco of King Syphax 1435 - 1445 (fol 2825v), Istituto al Gabinetto, Rome.

Sean George, at Zamek Gniew 2014(photo by Marta Kitta)

What is the story behind your heraldry?
The Heart and wings that I am currently using on my Shield is the same as on my helm and is Inspired by Rene D'anjou book of love - Le Livre du Cueur d'Amours Espris. My motto is 'Amor Vincit Omnia'(Love Conquers All).

Besides jousting, what else do you do?
I am an actor working in Film and Television. I also work as a lookalike for Corporate Events in the entertainment Industry, the characters I portray range from Captain Jack sparrow, The Mad Hatter, Willy Wonka to Mr Spock!

How did you become a competitor at the Tournament of John III?
I was Invited to Compete at The Tournament of King John III by Jan Gradoń, it was the first time that I competed there.

Please tell us about the horse that you rode during the tournament.
The Horse that I rode during the Tournament was named Medela, she is a Silesian horse. Medela belongs to the Polish Husarria, Krystian Mróz. I can see that she is used to Mounted Skill at Arms(MSA) training along with Jousting and Jumping, and man is she fast! We got used to each other very quickly and she was very responsive to my signals, she did everything I asked of her and I thank Krystian Mróz for allowing me to ride her.

Sean George competing in MSA with the Silesian horse Medela(photo by StudioA)

When you are in the lists waiting to compete, is there anything special that you do?
I try to relax, breath and focus, If I am calm then hopefully my horse is too, I think about horse control, then just focus on the job at hand.

What was/were your favorite moment(s) of the tournament?
Over all I enjoyed Jousting against some fine competitors, the fact that we all had something in common and the mutual respect.

What would you like to say about/to your teammate Steve Mallet?
Steve Mallett? He's a big softy underneath a tough exterior! But seriously I have so much respect for him as a true horseman, the man taught me to ride, he's a good friend and as Team England we rocked!

Sean George(left) and Steve Mallet(right), Team winners at Zamek Gniew 2014
(photo by StudioA)

What would you like to say about/to this year's other participants?
The Polish could not have been more hospitable to us, they were amazing hosts fronted by Jarek Struczynski – a real nice man. I truly enjoyed Jousting against all of the competitors and have a lot of respect for them, there was a lot of camaraderie in the Lists. I would like to thank ALL involved for making the Tournament such a great spectacle for the public and an amazing experience for us.

What are your plans/hopes for the future?
I will be competing in Jousts here in the UK as well as Le Tournoi International du Duché de Bicolline, Quebec later in August.
My hopes are to advance my Acting career and be successful within my work.

Sean George, at Zamek Gniew 2014(photo by StudioA)

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and best of luck in the future!

Related articles:
Team England and Petter Ellingsen Win the Tournament of King John III

An Interview with Jan Gradon, Coordinator of the Tournament of King John III at Gniew Castle

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Jousters for the Brooks Medieval Faire Jousting Tournament 2014

The Brooks Medieval Faire Jousting Tournament will take place this weekend, August 9 & 10, in Brooks, Alberta, Canada as part of the 11th annual Brooks Medieval Faire. A number of international jousters will be competing and a local news show interviewed Australian jouster Sarah Hay and Danish jouster, Ole(Will) Nielson who are already in town preparing for the competition.

Interview with jousters Sarah Hay and Ole Nielson(video from

The other jousters who will be competing include:
Canadian jousters:
Alison Mercer from Calgary
Dale Geinow recently transplanted to Alberta from Ontario
Dale Thwaites from Calgary
Jean-Francois Drapeau from Stoneham Quebec
Jean-Sebastian Drapeau from Stoneham Quebec
Lacey Hadford from Medicine Hat
Marc Hamel from Quebec
Radar Goddard from Calgary

International jousters:
Jeffrey Wasson from New York, USA
Nicola Corrarello from Rome, Italy
Ole Nielson From Vyborg, Denmark
Sarah Hay from Australia
Stacey Wasson from New York, USA

Sarah Hay and Stacy Wasson strike tip to tip during the Grand Tournament of St Charles 2013(photo by The Jousting Life)

For more information, check out the jousters page on the Brooks Medieval Faire website and the Brooks Medieval Faire Facebook page.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell Wins St Olav's Tournament 2014

For the second time in a week, Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell(aka Pelle) has won a jousting tournament. On Sunday, July 27, Pelle, along with his teammate Ben van Koert, won the Team Championship at the prestigious seven day long Arundel International Tournament outside of London, England. On the evening of July 30, he was announced Winner of the Joust and Tournament Champion for St Olav's Tournament 2014, part of Olavsfestdagene in Trondheim, Norway.

Bentre Andresen(left) jousts Per Estein Prøis- Røhjell(right), Tournament Champion
(photo by Trude Langvad)

Martin Hagen Johnsen was at St Olav's Tournament and provided the following text and photos:

On Monday the 28th of July at 2pm, the herald announced the rock stars of the renaissance to a packed stadium outside Nidarosdomen, the 1000 year old cathedral in Trondheim. The stage was set for three days of combat between several jousters of Norway. To the sound of Queens "We Will Rock You" the seven jousters rode out to meet the crowd and start the St Olav's Tournament 2014.

For two of the participants this was a very special moment. It was the first tournament for the Norwegian trotter horse Mari Charisma, and for Even, a Norwegian fjord horse, it would be the last. At the age of 21, Even is retiring as a joust horse. This was emotional for both rider and ground crew, who have known Even for many years. But the show must go on.

Norwegian Fjord horse Even and his rider and ground crew
(photo by Martin Hagen Johnsen)

Pelle made it to Trondheim on time after winning the Arundel International Tournament. However his armour did not. The airline lost his luggage. Pelle managed to compete in the mounted melee in borrowed helmet and gauntlets (no chest, arm or leg armour), but was unable to compete in any of the jousting on the first day of the tournament. After some phone calls, the armour was retrieved, and Pelle was ready for the jousting on day two.

Erik Dahl Ryen had to withdraw from the tournament after a lance struck his right hand on the second pass vs. Ivar Mauritz-Hansen. The injury was severe enough to prevent him from continuing. A quick trip to the ER and some stitches showed no lasting injury to his hand. Erik will be back next year!

The competition was even, and after three days and six events the winners were announced.

1st place: Per Estein Prøis- Røhjell with 16 points

Per Estein Prøis- Røhjell on his horse Promyk, 1st place jousting
(photo by Martin Hagen Johnsen)

2nd place: Thomas Andersen with 14 points

Thomas Andersen, 2nd place jousting(photo by Martin Hagen Johnsen)

3rd place: Ivar Mauritz-Hansen with 13 points

Ivar Mauritz-Hansen(left), 3rd place jousting(photo by Martin Hagen Johnsen)

Mounted Skill at Arms(MSA): Bente Andresen with 43 points

Bente Andresen, winner MSA(photo by Martin Hagen Johnsen)

Mounted Melee: Bjørn Steinar Gundersen with 12 points

Bjørn Steinar Gundersen, winner Mounted Melee(photo by Martin Hagen Johnsen)

Tournament Champion: Per Estein Prøis- Røhjell

Per Estein Prøis- Røhjell, Tournament Champion(photo by Martin Hagen Johnsen)

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

About a Horse: Hugo

The Jousters of St Hallvard's Tournament