Sir Dominic Clarke Crowned CHampion in a Chivalrous Charity Jousting Tournament Day

14-October-2014 19:10
in News
by The Knights


Under the last of the summer sun ‘Knights-in-Training’ from all over the country descended upon the prestigious Knights of Middle England’s Warwick base at the Warwick International School of Riding this October for the 9th Bi-Annual Amateur Jousting Tournament. A unique opportunity for their regular ‘Trainee Knights’; participants are invited to take part in the competition and join the UK’s only Amateur Jousting League.


Now in its fifth year, The Knights of Middle England opened their gates to all to come along and join in with the Medieval festivities for the day, all run in support of the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance. As well the Jousting competition, spectators were treated to ‘Have-a-Go’ longbow archery workshops, Falconry and Archery Displays and delicious food and drink from local company Red Banger Catering.


Run biannually, ten participants battled it out, at the ninth tournament, over a series of heats that culminated in a Jousting Finale. The “Knights in Training” are scored for points 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 a new Combined Skill never before seen in the Tournament. 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: “The competition was once again wide open and all competitors were very nervous and had been working hard in preparation for the day. They were all keen to do well and score highly to better their league positions.  The introduction of a brand new Skill to this years ‘Skills at Arms’ section definitely kept everyone on their toes and really put both riding and jousting skills to the test! Those with the steadiest lance and 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 down their visor and the battle for that first place began! They were each marked on accuracy, presentation of their lance and shield and also riding technique. As the most important section of the Tournament, with the most points on offer, the pressure was on to do well!


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! With the Tournaments and league growing and evolving every year with new skills and activities to try  the Tournament just gets bigger and better every year!!”


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! Holding his strong lead from the ‘Skills’ section of the Tournament, being the only competitor to gain a ‘full house’ of points on the newly introduced skill Sir Dominic ‘DarkOmen’ Clarke claimed the Winner’s Shield for the first time! Dominic is one of the ‘original’ Knights having competed in every Tournament since the league’s conception in 2010 and has worked hard over the years to hone his skills and was a very deserving winner!


Second place went to Kevin Hallett a.k.a ‘Sir Kevin Earl of Essex’ who was a close second after one of the strongest Jousts of the whole Tournament. Kevin is always a strong competitor on Tournament day and often found in the top 3 although he has not yet managed to claim the Winners Shield.


Third place went to Martin Townley a.k.a ‘Lord Martin of Weston’ who was competing in his first ever Tournament. Martin, an ex-jockey utilised his strong riding and horsemanship experience to help him on Tournament Day


The ‘Deramore Rhythm Trophy’ a special award presented to the participant who, the judges felt on the day deserved particular recognition went to Paul MacMillan a.k.a ‘Mac The Knight’, who finally, in his 5th Tournament managed to overcome his nerves and had the highest scoring Joust of the day finishing in a strong 4th place.


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 a guest Knight! Overall, the day raised just under £500 for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance, and after celebrations and commiserations, all are looking forward to getting back into training ready for the next Tournament in May!


For more information on how you can learn to joust with The Knights and take part in our Amateur Jousting Tournament yourself, or to find out more about the various packages we offer including Jousting Displays, stag and hen, corporate and schools events please do get in contact with us!


w:   e:        t: 01926 400401




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