This is not the first time that Australian jouster Sarah Hay has won a jousting tournament, she has actually won several national and international tournaments around the world. However, it is the first time that she or any woman has won the tournament championship Grail of Chivalry prize at the Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament.
Throughout the tournament, Sarah's equestrian partner was the appendix (quarter horse/thoroughbred) gelding PJ. PJ belongs to tournament organizer and leader of the Order of the Boar jousting troupe, Callum Forbes. PJ has been ridden in the Harcourt Park Jousting Tournament since 2005, and this is the second time that PJ has carried a rider to the overall championship of the tournament.
Sarah Hay riding the appendix gelding PJ during the Grail of Chivalry joust at
Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)
There are actually quite a few women who compete in jousting, and as in most equestrian sports, there is no distinction between male and female competitors. However, Sarah is probably the most active woman in the sport of jousting. She regularly competes in tournaments not only in her home country of Australia and its neighbor New Zealand, but also in Europe (Belgium, Denmark, France and Poland) and North America (Canada and USA).
Jousting tournaments usually include several competitions based on various skills within the overall tournament. The number and style of these competitions can vary from tournament to tournament. During the previous Harcourt Park Jousting Tournament, which was held in 2013, there were three competitions: jousting, mounted melee and mounted skill at arms(MSA). Sarah won the jousting competition, but did not do as well in the other competitions and so ended up earning second place overall. However, this year, due to her consistent achievements across all four of the competitions that made up the 2015 tournament (jousting, mounted melee, MSA, armour), she earned the title of tournament champion.
Sarah Hay(left) breaks not just the frangible tip of her lance, but the solid base of the lance all the way down to her hand in a strike against Andrew McKinnon(right) during the jousting competition at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by Gene Alcock)
Left: Sarah Hay seems to be enjoying herself as she fights Rhiannon Forbes during the mounted melee at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by Gene Alcock)
Right: Sarah Hay, riding the appendix gelding PJ, takes aim at the rings during the MSA competition at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)
Left: Sarah Hay wears her 14th century jousting armour and carries her personalized ecranche (jousting shield) while appendix gelding PJ wears a chamfron (face armour) in one of Sarah's heraldic colors and a caparison displaying Sarah's coat of arms during Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by Katherine McWade)
As for the winners of the four competitions that were included in the overall tournament:
The jousting competition was won by Gunnar Cederberg of Sweden, who also earned second place in the overall tournament. Quite an accomplishment considering this was his first time competing at Harcourt Park.
Gunnar Cederberg(left) jousts L Dale Walter(right) at Harcourt Park 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)
The mounted melee competition was won by Australian jouster Andrew McKinnon who was riding the Order of the Boar's well-known Charlie Warhorse.
Andrew McKinnon riding Charlie Warhorse during Harcourt Park 2015
(photo by ATPhoto)
The mounted skill at arms competition was won by New Zealand's own John King. This was John's second time winning the MSA competition at Harcourt Park, since he also won it during the previous 2013 tournament.
John King tilting at the rings during the MSA competition at Harcourt Park 2015
(photo by ATPhoto)
Since this year's tournament was designed around a 14th century joust, there was also an armour competition based on the quality of the 14th century jousting armour worn by the competitors. Aspects considered in the competition included the overall look of the armour and accessories, the workmanship of its construction and its historical accuracy. Australian jousters Sarah Hay and Rod Walker tied for first place.
Rod Walker walks the list field in his 14th century armour during Harcourt Park 2015
(photo by ATPhoto)
Rod was featured in a previous article about Harcourt Park because of the photo documentation he shared of the creation of his 14th century kit. Unfortunately, the armour competition was the only competition that Rod was able to participate in during Harcourt Park 2015. He was badly injured during a pre-tournament practice, and though he was able to attend the tournament, he was not well enough to ride in it. This is not the first time that Rod has been injured at Harcourt Park. During the previous tournament in 2013, Rod injured his knee during the jousting and again during the mounted melee. After the second injury, he wisely chose to withdraw from the 2013 tournament.
Since Rod was unable to compete, New Zealand jouster John King's son, Glen King stepped up and rode in Rod's place in the joust. This was Glen's very first jousting tournament, and according to tournament organizer Callum Forbes, Glen did "really well", managing to tie with Sarah Hay for second place in the mounted skill at arms competition.
Glen King competing in his first jousting tournament at Harcourt Park 2015
(photo by ATPhoto)
Other jousters who competed in this year's tournament included Anders Fernstedt of Sweden, Vikki Subritzky of New Zealand and L Dale Walter of USA.
After the tournament, organizer Callum Forbes stated that this was to be the last Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament. The event will continue, but under a new name, Harcourt Park Festival of History, which will include not only the medieval time period, but also other historical periods as well. Of course, the Grail of Chivalry Jousting Tournament will remain a featured part of the festival.
Callum Forbes, tournament organizer of the Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament 2015 (photo by ATPhoto)
Many thanks to Gene Alcock, Katherine McWade and professional photographer Andrew Turner of ATPhoto for allowing the use of their photos. You can find out more about Andrew's work on the ATPhoto Facebook page, and you can see and purchase photos from both the 2015 and 2013 Harcourt Park events on his ATPhoto website.
Fourteenth Century Style Jousting at the Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament 2015
Canadian Dale Gienow Wins New Zealand's Harcourt Park 2013 World Invitational Jousting Tournament
Female Jouster, Sarah Hay, Wins Full Tilt International Jousting Tournament 2012
Informative Video of the 2013 Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament
Video from Harcourt Park 2013 World Invitational Jousting Tournament
Articles about Harcourt Park Jousting Tournament from other news sources:
Radio New Zealand News: "Medieval merriment comes to Upper Hutt"
The Dominion Post: "Medieval Merriment in Upper Hutt"
The Dominion Post: "Jousters at the Ready to Do Battle"
The Dominion Post: "Jousting Tournament Returns to Harcourt Park"