The Medieval Jousting Tournament

Eyebrows raised when we were told that Wednesday afternoon would be fulfilled with a jousting display. Many people had not heard of jousting before – and, to be fair, it is medieval. However, this only meant that the jousting spectacle was an exciting new experience for many.

Chatter rippled through the crowds of Concord staff and students, also joined by a local primary school who were warmly welcomed to see the jousting event. The chatter died down as a jester presented himself in front of the crowd. Court jesters are like modern day actors on TV: their job is to entertain an audience. We shortly learnt that our court jester was very capable at his job. Gasps filled the air as he began to juggle torches on fire. Then, the gasps turned into laughter when he performed various impressions; my favourite were his impressions of an Australian kangaroo!

He then stepped back and introduced four beautiful horses. They each had a rider who was going to joust and ‘fight’ for the place they represented. The aim of the riders was to impress the judges the most through combat and win the competition. When the court jester read the name of a rider, the rider effortlessly transitioned their horse from standing into a gallop, riding around the arena and introduced themselves. The name ‘William Thatcher’ was said and a horse zoomed past me… ‘That’s the name of a character from A Knights Tale’, one of my friends murmured.

Once each horse and rider had their opening entrance, the jousting began. Each competitor was carrying a jousting lance – guess how long they are? 10 feet! However, all of the riders were holding the lance as if it was second nature to them. The one on one jousts were the best; two riders would canter up to each other on their horse and when they passed each other, lances were thrusted, shields were lifted and occasionally, riders even fell from an especially strong blow.

Riders that fell off their horses wanted revenge, so ‘ground fights’ without horses often broke out. This involved even more fire! Alight metal spikes on a chain were given to each competitor. They had to try and strike the opposition with their weapon or block with their shield. The crowd was divided as some people cheered whilst others booed, but no matter who was winning the event was tantalising.

Towards the end of the tournament, one competitor was clearly stronger than the others… ‘The Black Knight’ was congratulated for his excellent performances and the other competitors were also applauded. Although the winner of the competition may not have been who I was supporting, I’ll remember every second of it.

Rose – F5

You can view the photo gallery from this event by clicking here.