The Jousting Life

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Look Back at the 2015 Jousting Season of Association Chevalerie Initiatique

Written by Alexandre Leon of Association Chevalerie Initiatique

In 2015, Association Chevalerie Initiatique participated in more than ten events in France and Belgium. The troupe also participated in tournaments from Crèvecoeur, Fontainbleau and Agincourt to the castles of the Loire.

Jousters of Association Chevalerie Initiatique, left to right: Alexander Leon, Arnaud Leon, Quentin Ricolleau, Marie Meunier, Benjamin Neel and Meryl Bunout (photo by Eric Meunier)

The 2015 season was hectic, not just because of changes in equipment and horses, but also changes in jousters. Chevaleri Initiatique does not stop striving to improve materially, technically and historically. During this season, we participated in a few atypical events, such as the parade at the Grand Palace of Bruxelle. We also had eight riders who participated in the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt.

Florent Meriel jousts Alexandre Leon (photo by Eric Meunier)

In 2015, we also introduced a new generation of jousters. Marie Meunier, a young lady of 17 and Benjamin Benjamin Neel, a 24-year-old man, both donned armor, joining the more experienced team members of the troupe. Their addition brings the average age of the team to 24 years. The younger jousters earned a couple of victories during tournaments this season. For example, at a tournament at the Château du Rivau, Quentin Ricolleau(21 years) became champion during a jousting competition based on the Tournament of King Rene, which set the count of Brézé against that of Rivau.

Quentin Ricolleau receives first prize for winning the Tournament at the Château du Rivau
(photo by Eric Meunier)

And we should not forget Valentin Colle, who won at the Tournaments of Agincourt. And Florent Meriel, who was the Champion of Brézé.

Florent Meriel(left) jousts Alexandre Leon(right) at the Château de Crèvecoeur, August, 2015
(photo by Eric Meunier)

These young jousters exhibited a general level of accomplishment which continued to increase, following the example of the older riders.

Marie Meunier, a young jouster at Château du Rivau, August, 2015 (photo by Eric Meunier)

However the more experienced riders were not outdone because the current president of Association Chevalerie Initiatique, Meryl Bunout, won a whole lot of the events of Ommegang of Brussels. And Arnaud Leon won the tournaments on his lands of Chambines!

Arnaud Leon at the Tournament of Chambines 2015 (photo by Eric Meunier)

At the end of the 2015 season, the general ranking was:
1. Meryl Bunout
2. Alexandre Leon
3. Arnaud Leon
4. Quentin Ricolleau
5. Valentin Colle
6. Jérôme Sauterel
7. Florent Meriel
8. Marie Meunier
9. Benjamin Neel

Meryl Bunout(left) and Alexander Leon (right) at Château du Rivau 2015 (photo by Eric Meunier)

This past season was outstanding, we competed at magnificent castles and the audiences were great! However, we knew all the same during this season full of changes how to maintain the family context which allows this chivalrous adventure to continue. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Virginia Léon, Virginia Miller and all the others who work behind the scenes to allow this association to evolve; without them nothing would be possible, and we could not continue to compete in front of the crowds!

The 2016 season looks even more full than 2015 was, with more events and thus more shows. We hope that 2016 will be even bigger and better than previous years.

For more information about Association Chevalerie Initiatique, check out their website and Facebook page. You can also email them.

Valentin Colle(left) jousts Alexander Leon(right) at Château du Rivau 2015 (photo by Eric Meunier)

Related articles:
Favorite Moments from 2014: Part One

Favorite Moments from 2014: Part Two

Favorite Moments From 2014: Photographers Andrew Wickens and Hanno van Harten

Favorite Moments from 2010: The Accidental International Jouster's Tale

Favorite Moments from 2014: Part Five

Favorite Moments From 2014: Epic Moment at Brooks Medieval Faire

Favorite Moments from 2014: Part Seven



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