The Jousting Life

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"

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