Amateur Jousting Tournament May 2012

10-May-2012 17:15
in News
by The Knights

Chivalrous Knights in Training

Raise Money for Warwickshire &
Northamptonshire Air Ambulance


It takes more than a bit of rain to dampen the spirits of The Knights of Middle England who were all on good form at their base in Warwick on Bank Holiday May 7th.   A group of “wannabe knights” travelled back
to a more chivalrous age at the home of the UK’s leading Jousting School to compete in their Spring
Amateur Jousting Tournament.


Held at the Warwick International School of Riding, the base of the prestigious Knights of Middle England, these
Knights in Training, had been invited to partake in a unique opportunity; to compete in the Amateur Jousting League,
putting their skills to the test!


Run biannually, nine participants battled it out, at the fourth tournament, over a series of heats that culminated in a Jousting Finale. The “Knights in Training” are marked in an ‘X-Factor’ style on their ‘Skills at Arms.’ This consisted of three mounted skills or games – striking the dreaded man-shaped target called a Quintaine; collecting small rings onto their lance whilst riding at speed and spearing a ‘peasant’s head’ off the ground from their steed. Bonus marks were awarded for the chopping of two suspended ‘targets’ from their horse with their cavalry sword. Points were then collated
to decide who would take pole-position for the start of the ‘jousting heat’ against an instructor.


Head Instructor Karl Ude-Martinez said of the participants: “They were all very nervous, but keen to do well and score highly to better their league positions.  After the ‘Skills at Arms’ section those with the steadiest lance and a well trained eye (and a little bit of luck!), took the lead for the joust which would prove hard to win back.”


However, the competition was not yet won! The ten participants took up their shield and lance, closed the visor down and the battle for that first place began! They were each marked on accuracy, presentation of their lance and
shield and also riding technique. For many of them it was the first time they had ridden in front of a large crowd and so the pressure was certainly on.


Instructor Kelly Baddeley exclaimed: “It was great to see all the continued support for this event and how the league is growing from strength to strength. The league is ideal for anyone who wants to take up a new hobby – Amateur Jousting can now be on people’s lists! The weather was not great but still over 150 people came to watch the trainee knights fight it out - what was fabulous to see, was our female knights giving the men a serious run for their money!!”


During the “Joust”, three of the Knights of Middle England instructors scored their sheets and the points were all added together to give them the winner! Due to an unrivalled joust against the resident Black Knight and fantastic orsemanship skills, newcomer to the league, Nic Bevan aka “Sir Nic of Oakfield,” was crowned the victor of The Knights of Middle England Spring Amateur Jousting Tournament 2012. Second place went to Kevin Hallett from Newarkfor the second year running who due to being placed in the points over the last few tournaments now sits at the top of the Amateur Jousting League. Third place went to Steve Fearnley from Hampshire. Falconry displays, sword fighting workshops, pony rides, tasty hot food and drinks were on offer throughout the day keeping people warm, with contributions from these helping to raise over £500 for “Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance”. The day ended with a fantastic and very entertaining show from The Knights of Middle England Team themselves, where the winner of the Tournament had the chance of being in their show as one of the guest knights!




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