Easter Tournament – Saturday 19th April 2014 – a review of the day.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe first day of this years Easter Tournament, competing for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Horn. Here seen in the parade before the final in 2013.

The Golden Jubilee Horn was commissioned  by the Royal Armouries Leeds in 2002 to mark the 50th year of Queen Elixabeth II’s reign. presented to her at Harewood House the queen offered it back to the Royal Armouries as a prize for Jousting Champion. This competition is the only Joust sanctioned by the Queen.

The current Champion from 2013 is Andy Deane.

The horses, ground crew and all but one of the mounted squires for this event are provided by Atkinson Action Horses.

There are three parts to each round in this Tournament. The Skill at Arms by the Mounted Squires. Trick Riding by the Mounted Squires and the Joust of Peace by the Knights.

There are a number of photos below some by myself and some by my friend Kelly Fowler.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABefore the Tournament the Knights were introduced in the Tournament Gallery in the museum. On the left you can see Lisa leading the Knights towards the Tournament Gallery.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALisa then joined other Ladys with the Herald who would announce the Knights, our Herald is Charlie.

In traditional Tournaments the heraldry of the competitors would be on display so that all would know who was in attendance. It was possible for a Lady to denounce a Knight as un-chivalrous and his name would be stricken from the Tournament.

Ladies might bestow a favour upon a Knight, attaching a kerchief or scarf to his armour or lance.

20140419_143536Charlie introduced Each Knight in turn and each of them received a favour from one of the Ladies. The colour of the favour would match flags waved to show support in the Joust.

On the left you can see Rachael bestowing her favour to Steve Morris. His favour was green.

Prior to the Hurdy GurdyTournament the audience was entertained by Dante on the Hurdy Gurdy. Early Hurdy Gurdys were played by two musicians, one cranking and one using the keys. The smaller variety as seen here first appeared in Europe sometime in the 12th Century.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJesters, Fools, Jongleurs all took many forms. A Jongleur was more a story teller, singer or musician, such as Dante. While a Fool or Jester might do acrobatics, tell jokes or sig funny songs.

The Jesters today told a mixture of jokes aimed at all ages and performed some somewhat questionable acts of magic.

Though many watched the Knights be announced and receive favours many more inside the Tiltyard hadn’t. So Dante and the Jesters were key to keeping the audience entertained and warming them up for the entertainment to come.

The Tournament

Herald CharlieThe Tournament started with announcements from the Herald, Charlie. Behind him are two of the Foot Squires, Gavin on the right and Ricky obscured by Charlie.

Not all are regular Tournament goers, unlike myself. Charlie’s job is to keep everyone informed with his world famous ‘Jousting Facts’.

Skills at Arms

Below is the first skill at arms, riding at the hoops with lance, performed by Kyle van Dolah-Evans. The hoops are at the height of a mounted man’s heart and trains Squires and Knights in accuracy. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kyle is the one Mounted Squire not from Atkinson Action Horses, she is here accompanying her husband, one of the Knights. She is riding Chelsea, a particularly fast horse.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext the Mounted Squires struck at cabbages. Jo making a clean strike and shards of cabbage are falling in the front of Valentino’s face (or Tino as he is commonly known).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you can see  with Ricky and Lucy in the background the cabbages are roughly the height of the head of a footman. The point of this training is of course for war.

Miles jumping on Johnnie Wilkinson takes a cabbage.

KyleThe Mounted Squires then took passes at the quintain. The shield on the quintain is roughly the size of the shield used in the Joust. This shield is known as the Targe.

Kyle only clipped the Targe on this pass but in a Joust striking the Targe gains the highest points. So a good training pass on a fast horse.

ZachThe final skill at arms was with a throwing javelin, known as a dart. The target represents a boar but of course in war the target could well be a Footman.

Zach is riding Charley, not the Herald… Zach made a clean hit on the target. Zach’s accuracy is usually very keen.

Zach was declated with winner of the Skill at Arms.

Trick Riding

This part of the Tournament isn’t a competition it is simply for entertainment. However some of the tricks have use on the battlefield, others simply show the skill and balance of the rider and the steadiness of the horse.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJo balancing on one leg, without stirrup and maintaining balance with a hand gently on the main of Tino.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAZach hanging  from Charley as if dead. Mongols would use this skill to fake death in battle and return to the fight. Neither Kelly nor I caught it clearly earlier but Zach can retrieve a blade from the floor in this manner and regain his seat.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAZach’s other stunts: Inverted, vaulting back in to the saddle afterwards. Reversed, sat on Charley’s neck.

Jo2Jo1Jo balanced on her back across the saddle, one foot. Then hanging on to the side of Tino looking backwards.

Quite excellent examples of horsmanship.

The Joust

The main event, Charlie introduced the competitors.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALeft, Mark Caple on Aramis. Wearing Gothic armour, a reproduction of Armour worn by Archduke Sigismund von Tirol.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARight, Steve Morris on Dylan. Wearing armour based on that of Edmund Tudor with a plume from a painting by Botticelli.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALeft Stacy van Dolah-Evans riding Alfie. Wearing Italian Armour for Export to Burgundy in the style of 1475.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARight Andy Deane on Ted. Wearing Gothis armour with English influences.

Four Knights, decades of experience.

There were two rounds on Friday with mixed results for the Knights. The action shots below are a mix of the two.


Steve wonLeft, Andy WonSteve Morris was the winner of the first round.
Right, Andy Deane was the winner of the second round.

The competition continued Saturday with Mark Caple winning the 12:00 round and there was a draw for the 15:00 round with Andy Deane and Stacy van Dolah-Evans winning.

It seems that it is all still anyone’s to win.

The fifth round is 12: on Easter Monday with a parade at 14:30 and the Final at 15:00.



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