Easter Tournament Final Day – Royal Armouries 6th April

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThree competitions in one were settled today at Royal Armouries in Leeds.

The Queen’s Jubilee Horn – a prize for a single Knight with points accrued over the full length of the competition.

The Sword of Honour – a team award with lead points carried over from the earlier days of the competition.

Yorkshire Rose Gauntlet Ring – a team mounted melee.

Also with prizes of a bottle of something (I didn’t catch what) each for Skill at Arms and Chivalry.

Today rounded off four days of Tournament with six internationally renowned Knights. This is a serious competition where everyone wants to win.

The competitors were
Jan Gradon and Jarek Struczynski competing as Team Poland
Steve Gagnon and Ben van Koert competing as Team Burgundy
Andy Deane and Stacy Evans (standing in for Nicky Willis)

You can read a bit more detail regarding the competitors in my earlier article.

The first show of the day was the Mounted Melee. This is the first time that a melee has taken place at the Royal Armouries so until today I did not know what rules would be in place. Each team had one Knight in the arena at a time with a Mounted Squire as an Outrider. The Squire could block the opponents, giving safety to their Knight. Points were scored by two hits to any single opponent before a retaliatory blow was conceded. The count was not interrupted by a blow to a second opponent between blows.

Each round was two minutes long and the Knights switched places with their colleague after Round 1.

The Outriders for each team were provided by Atkinson Action Horses:

Burgundy – Michael Collin
England – Mark Atkinson

I have to admit I was having so much fun watching the carnage that I couldn’t track the points being scored.

Here you can see Michael Collin keeping a close eye on his Knight, Steve Gagnon.

In the background Jan Gradon is watching his colleague, Jarek, almost as closely.

In the press Jarek became unseated; for safety the round was halted.


Between the second and third round we were treated to a series of combat riding skills from Ben Atkinson. I’m going to write separately about Ben as there are a few things to say. Here are a couple of shots from his routine.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the third round of Melee the Knights could decide who took to the field. Stacy had been better defensively and with the scores tied it seemed a good decision to put him on for England. The home team were successful, winning the contest.

In the afternoon there was a full set of Jousts with all six Knights competing. As Stacy was standing in for the injured Nicky Willis he was only scoring in the Team competition, all other Knights were accruing personal and Team points.

My shots of the Joust were substandard, here is a picture taken by my friend Kelly Fowler. Ben van Koert and Stacy van Dolah-Evans shattering lances.

Ben v Stacy

The victor of the individual competition, winning the Queen’s Jubilee Horn, was predicted on day one by my son. Jarek¬†Struczynski, who also won the Chivalry title.


Jarek and his teammate, Jan Gradon, also won the team event.


Andy Deane won the Skill at Arms event with Stacy being awarded the White Rose for the Melee. A fine result for Team England.


As I said earlier this was a world class line-up, a brilliant Tournament.


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