The Jousting Life

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

David Schade Wins Mid-Faire Jousting Tournament at Sherwood Forest Faire 2015

For the past several years, Sherwood Forest Faire in Paige, Texas, USA, has substituted an actual competitive jousting tournament in place of their usual jousting show during the last weekend of the faire. However this year, Sherwood Forest Faire is hosting two competitive jousting tournaments during its run, one during the fourth weekend(mid-faire) and one during the eighth and final weekend.

David Schade jousts Eddie Rigney during the mid-faire jousting tournament at  Sherwood Forest Faire 2015 (photo by GRHook Photo)
David Schade jousts Robbie Hubbard during the mid-faire jousting tournament at 
Sherwood Forest Faire 2015 (photo by GRHook Photo)

Sherwood's Mid-faire Jousting Tournament was held this past weekend, February 28 - March 1. Eight competitors from five different jousting organizations took to the list field, and after two days of competition, David Schade, leader of the New Riders of the Golden Age, was the winner of the tournament. David rode the jousting horse Abraham, a six year old Percheron gelding, throughout the tournament.

David Schade, Tournament Winner, Mid-faire Jousting Tournament at  Sherwood Forest Faire 2015 (photo by GRHook Photo)
David Schade on the jousting horse Abraham, Tournament Winners, 
Mid-faire Jousting Tournament at Sherwood Forest Faire 2015 (photo by GRHook Photo)

The tournament consisted of six sessions of jousting: a qualifying session(noon Saturday), four sessions of jousting competition(Saturday, 2pm & 4pm and Sunday, Noon & 2pm), and a Finals session(Sunday, 4pm). The qualifying session was used to examine the horsemanship, jousting skill and general safety of those wishing to compete in the tournament. The sessions of jousting competition included three to four matches between pairs of qualified competitors. The Finals session was to feature the top two jousters from the previous four competitive sessions in an extended final match to determine the tournament winner.

Points within each match were awarded in the following fashion: a solid hit against a legal target(above the waist, below the head) earned 1 point, a lance broken against a legal target earned 5 points, and unhorsing your opponent by striking him in a legal target area earned 10 points. The jouster with the highest number of points after four passes won the match. If the points were tied after four passes, additional passes were run until there was a winner.

Once each match was over, the points earned during the match were irrelevant, and only the number of matches won was used to determine the ranking of the jousters.

The list of jousters who competed in Sherwood's Mid-faire Jousting Tournament included:

From the New Riders of the Golden Age (the home team):
David Schade, leader of the troupe, colors red & gold, stage name "Sir William"
Mark Desmond, colors blue, black & silver, stage name "Sir Marcus"
Harry Bouchard, colors red, green & silver, stage name "Sir Henry Darling"

Mark Desmond on the jousting horse Daisy, a Brabant mare (photo by GRHook Photo)Harry Bouchard on the jousting horse Marcus, a Percheron gelding (photo by GRHook Photo)
Left: Mark Desmond on the Brabant mare jousting horse Daisy (photo by GRHook Photo)
Right: Harry Bouchard on the Percheron gelding jousting horse Marcus (photo by GRHook Photo)

From the Knights of Mayhem:
Charlie Andrews, leader of the troupe, sporting yellow feathers on his helm, stage name "Prince Kyllem Awl"
Robbie Hubbard, sporting various borrowed colors, stage name "Sir Michael"

Robbie Hubbard on the Percheron gelding jousting horse Arthur r(Arthur is wearing Eddie Rigney's caparison) (photo by GRHook Photo)Charlie Andrews on the Belgian gelding jousting horse Jaegermeister (photo by GRHook Photo)
Left: Robbie Hubbard on the Percheron jousting horse Arthur (photo by GRHook Photo)
Right: Charlie Andrews on the Belgian jousting horse Jaegermeister (photo by GRHook Photo)

From the faire's own Sherwood Knights Academy:
Joshua Warren, colors red, black & white, stage name "Lord Arcadia"

Joshua Warren on the Percheron jousting horse Mercy (photo by GRHook Photo)
Joshua Warren on the Percheron jousting horse Mercy (photo by GRHook Photo)

From the Knights of Valour:
Eddie Rigney, colors pink & white, nickname "The Hitman"

Eddie Rigney on the Percheron jousting horse Skull Crusher (photo by The Jousting Life)
Eddie Rigney on the Percheron jousting horse Skull Crusher
(photo by The Jousting Life)

From the Knights of Four Winds:
Dustin Stephens, colors green, black & gold

Dustin Stephens on the Belgian jousting horse Sampson (photo by GRHook Photo)
Dustin Stephens on the Belgian jousting horse Sampson
(photo by GRHook Photo)

Although many of the jousters used stage names during the tournament, the competition was real.

Unfortunately, the Four Winds jouster Dustin Stephens was disqualified during the first day of competition for being unable to get the horse he was riding to consistently canter the length of the tilt. Horses do have minds of their own and can sometimes decide that they just don't feel like jousting at the moment.

The remaining jousters gave the audience quite a few thrills and spills throughout the tournament. On the first day of competition, Mark Desmond and Charlie Andrews managed to unhorse each another, not once, but twice. During their first match together, they were both competing for ranking points, and in their second pass, they had a dramatic double unhorsing. (Both the first and second pass are shown in the video below)


Jousting - 1st Session, Double Unhorsing, Mark Desmond & Charlie Andrews, 
Sherwood Forest Faire (video by The Jousting Life)

After they came off their horses, both jousters still had one foot caught in the stirrup, as you can see in the still photo below:

Mark Desmond(left) and Charlie Andrews(right) with their feet caught in their stirrups (photo by Pamela Morgan Photography)
Mark Desmond(left) and Charlie Andrews(right) with their feet caught in their stirrups
(photo by Pamela Morgan Photography)

If you watch the video closely, you can see that Charlie was actually dragged along the ground by his horse Jaegermeister, which, according to Charlie, was absolutely terrifying. For a few seconds, he seriously thought he was going to die. Fortunately, Jaegermeister was stopped fairly quickly, and neither Charlie nor Mark was seriously hurt. Both were ready to continue jousting within a couple of minutes, and after completing their fourth pass, Charlie had won the match.

When they faced each other again during the next session of jousting, only Mark was competing for ranking points. Charlie had enthusiastically agreed to take the place of disqualified jouster Dustin Stephens in order for Mark to have someone to joust against. During the fourth pass of the match, Charlie and Mark again unhorsed one another. There is video of the second double unhorsing on The Jousting Life's YouTube channel. However, photographer Gary R. Hook of GRHook Photo was kind enough to share this spectacular sequence of photos documenting the pair's second double unhorsing. (Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.)

Mark Desmond(left) and Charlie Andrews(right), double unhorsing sequence 1 (photo by GRHook Photo) Mark Desmond(left) and Charlie Andrews(right), double unhorsing sequence 2 (photo by GRHook Photo) Mark Desmond(left) and Charlie Andrews(right), double unhorsing sequence 3 (photo by GRHook Photo) Mark Desmond(left) and Charlie Andrews(right), double unhorsing sequence 4 (photo by GRHook Photo)

Mark Desmond(left) and Charlie Andrews(right), double unhorsing sequence 5 (photo by GRHook Photo)

Mark Desmond(left) and Charlie Andrews(right), double unhorsing sequence 6 (photo by GRHook Photo) Mark Desmond(left) and Charlie Andrews(right), double unhorsing sequence 7 (photo by GRHook Photo) Mark Desmond(left) and Charlie Andrews(right), double unhorsing sequence 8 (photo by GRHook Photo) Mark Desmond(left) and Charlie Andrews(right), double unhorsing sequence 9 (photo by GRHook Photo)

This time, since Mark was in the lead coming into the fourth pass, he was the winner of the match.

Mark Desmond on the jousting horse Daisy (photo by GRHook Photo)
Mark Desmond on the jousting horse Daisy
(photo by GRHook Photo)

There were also several single unhorsings during the tournament. Sherwood's own Joshua Warren was unhorsed by Charlie Andrews late in the first day, and then again by David Schade early in the second day of competition. In the video below, you can see that Joshua was having trouble with his horse and had swung his lance far to the side. However David could not see that Joshua was having trouble and hit him solidly in the grand guard, unhorsing him.


Jousting - 3rd Session, 1st Match, David Schade unhorses Joshua Warren 
at Sherwood Forest Faire 2015 (video by The Jousting Life)

It is an accepted practice that a jouster can swing his lance far off target to indicate that he is having trouble and is asking for a mercy pass (i.e. not to be hit). However, it is understood that due to the extremely limited visibility through a jousting helm, the opposing jouster cannot always see that the first jouster has asked for a mercy pass. Therefore it is also understood that asking for a mercy pass does not always mean that you will receive it. Just one of the reasons that, despite taking every reasonable precaution, jousting is still a dangerous sport.

After the second unhorsing, during which he landed badly on his face, Joshua chose to withdraw from the competition due to injury.

The second day of joust competition saw Harry Bouchard unhorsed three times during the same session. He was unhorsed twice by Charlie Andrews during the four passes of their match, and was later unhorsed a third time during his match against Robbie Hubbard. When asked how he felt about being unhorsed three times, Harry responded:
"I don't mind at all. I will eat as much dirt as it takes until I get better." 
His persistence paid off. In the next session of jousting, Harry managed to win his match against Eddie Rigney.


Harry Bouchard unhorsed, 2015 Sherwood Forest Faire Jousting Tournament 1
(video by The Jousting Life)

Going into the Finals, David Schade was clearly the top competitor so far, having won all of his matches. However, who the second jouster in the finals should be was not clear. Mark Desmond and Charlie Andrews had earned the same number of ranking points, both having won all but one of their matches. Therefore, it was decided to hold two matches during the Finals. The first match would consist of four passes between Mark and Charlie to see which of them could earn the right to face David in the final extended match(six passes) which would determine the tournament winner.

During the first pass of the first match, Charlie managed to unhorse Mark, putting Charlie in the lead, both in terms of the match and in terms of unhorsings between the two of them. Although Mark managed to resist another near unhorsing during their second pass and to break his lance against Charlie during the fourth pass, it was not enough to overcome Charlie's initial lead. Charlie won the match, putting Mark in third place, and earning Charlie the right to face David Schade in the final match.


Jousting - Finals, Mark Desmond unhorsed by Charlie Andrews, 1st Pass, Sherwood Forest Faire
(video by The Jousting Life)

Charlie and David had actually faced each other once before during the tournament, and David had won that match 16 to 12. The weather, which had been freezing cold all day, turned wet during the Finals, when rain began to fall.  The conditions were truly miserable. However, both jousters were still eager to try their mettle against one another one last time. And after six cold, wet passes, and with a score of 18 - 13, David Schade won the match, and by doing so, won the tournament – much to his surprise.


Jousting - Finals, David Schade & Charlie Andrews, 6th Pass, Sherwood Forest Faire
(video by The Jousting Life)

You can see many of the jousting passes from the mid-faire tournament on the 2015 Sherwood Forest Faire Jousting Tournament 1 playlist included on The Jousting Life's YouTube channel.


2015 Sherwood Forest Faire Jousting Tournament 1 playlist (videos by The Jousting Life)

There is, of course, a second competitive jousting tournament coming up the last weekend of the faire, March 28 - 29, where the jousters will get a second chance to compete and possibly win. To learn more about the faire and its various events, check out the Sherwood Forest Faire website and Facebook page. You can also follow these links to find out more about the New Riders of the Golden Age, the Knights of Mayhem, the Knights of Valour, the Knights of Four Winds and the Sherwood Knights Academy.

Related articles:
Two Competitive Jousting Tournaments to be Held at Sherwood Forest Faire 2015

The Sherwood Joust 2014: After Words

David Schade Wins Sherwood Forest Faire Jousting Tournament 2014

First Day of the Sherwood Forest Faire Jousting Tournament 2014

Sherwood Forest Faire To Host a Competitive Jousting Tournament

Charlie Andrews Wins the Sherwood Forest Faire Jousting Tournament 2012

Correction: Information about one of the disqualified jousters was removed as per his request.

4 comments:

  1. Awesome post! I really love the look of your site. This even looks like it was very exciting. I am so sorry my family missed it, but so very thankful you posted it here! Almost feels like we were there. You did a great job of capturing the action, and I particularly love your pictures! I happen to know this was re-blogged on Tumbler, and it has gotten over 100 comments. There seems to be a bit of a vote by the viewers as to which knight they like the most. I do like them all, but gotta say Dave will always be my favorite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! and WHERE was it re-blogged on Tumblr??? Could you send me a link? It would have been nice if whoever re-blogged it had at least let me know.

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