A Jouster’s Experience at the Abbey Medieval Jousting Spectacular

A Jouster’s Experience By Lady Elizabeth Brown, Moonlight Manor Horse Riding

So…. how did the Abbey Medieval Jousting Spectacular go – some of you have been asking ……

It was FANTASTIC!!

Liz Brown at the Jousting Spectacultar www.abbeymedievalfestival.com

A little history on my own jousting career:  I have been involved with jousting for a decade, but my jousting spiralled down & I’ve never taken it to the levels that I’ve wanted.  In fact, I got worse about it.  My armour has never been great, lacking in places, loss of movement in others & nearly every jousting experience I’ve had to date I would walk away very physically damaged due to not having enough armour protecting me.

Bit by bit, my confidence & desire to joust pretty much dried up.  I used to end up doing events that I wasn’t really prepared for & end up an absolute emotional & physical wreck.

Bit by bit, Shanks & I have worked on my armour to have it protect me better.  The end result is armour that isn’t great, but has now become fairly safe.  Just a few more adjustments.  But the end goal is to figure out an entire new harness that will make me essentially bullet proof!!!

Because I’ve had so many problems with feeling safe with jousting, I’ve started to flinch BAD.  Very, very badly!! Which also means I’ve not even been targeting properly as I’m too busy trying to protect myself & freaking out at the other lance coming at me.

This last week, Shanks & I have had to work like mad to get my gear up & me to some kind of level of being past an absolute nervous wreck!!

I wasn’t initially meant to be jousting at this event.  Just through various riders having to pull out at the last minute for various reasons, it came down to still needing 6 riders & there was essentially only me left!!

We did a trial run the Sunday prior, where Shanks hit me with scored tips a couple of times, just to see if I’d completely panic.  I flinched A LOT, but I didn’t panic!  So I told Justin I could do it – so long as I rode Flash!  And to please take it a bit easy on me!!!

At least I was on my Flash!!

Last night, in the actual tournament, the first 3 runs that I did were terrifying & I was literally shaking under my armour.

A few things helped me out:

1 – Flash was running so strongly down that tilt line (he LOVES jousting!!) that I had absolutely no choice in the matter!  It didn’t matter how terrified I was feeling, he just went, “come on mom, I’ll show you what to do!” & admittedly, I did leave most of it up to him!!  If I had been on a horse that needed me to be a leader, I don’t think it would have worked, but Flash is such a wonderful jousting horse, he doesn’t need me to be his leader, he’s more than capable!  Thank you my wonderful Flash!  He was my leader & my guide & never put a hoof wrong.

2 – The scored lance tips & my armour actually protecting me.  After the first 3 hits, in my head, I went “I’m not getting hit!! I CAN DO THIS!!”

3 – All the support I’ve had from EVERYONE, it has been the most amazing joust I have been involved with while I’ve been riding.

So, after I realised my armour was doing it’s job, I actually started to target.  I managed to sort of hit, but skim off twice & then it happened!!!  I BROKE & SHATTERED THE LANCE TIP!!  I DID IT!!!!!!! But not only did I manage to make it happen, I did it without utter terror!  FOR THE FIRST TIME – EVER!!  Unfortunately, I only had one more pass after that & did miss, but I think I know where I went wrong & what I need to do.

liz brown 2

I went from being an absolute ball of near-terror to, for the first time in my jousting career, actually JOUSTING. And what I mean by that, for the first time I was able to stop worrying about myself & focus on the target.  I think if I’d had the opportunity to have had a few more shots, I would like to think I would have had my eye in better, but I was actually getting hungry for the hit, I was actually focusing in on the target!

WHAT A FEELING!!

Now I know why we do this crazy stuff!! Lol!

For the first time EVER, I’ve walked away from a joust, uninjured & my confidence soaring, for the first time EVER, I’ve walked away knowing that I was starting to really zero in on the target.  For the first time EVER, I’ve walked away without fear.  I was almost disappointed that I didn’t get more time to get more hits in & that is something I have NEVER experienced!

So although my targeting still needs work & practice, I can honestly say, for the first time last night, I rode as a jouster, riding towards my opponent with very little fear.

I cannot express what that feels like.

I have walked away scoring the least amount of hits, but in some ways I feel more elated because my fear is all but gone.

Despite having walked into this joust VERY reluctantly, the outcome has been an amazing experience & I couldn’t have done it without the support of my Shanks & our housemate & friend Kimberly Belcher.

Thanks also go to Justin Holland, Vikki Subritzky, John King, Wayne Rigg (Rigsy), and Andrew Beattie.  THANK YOU for being such an amazing & supportive joust crew.  I felt so safe working with everyone who was jousting which went a LONG way to help me achieve what I achieved.  I could NOT have done it without you!!!

To Paula Winkel & Damien Fegan – thank you to all your hard work & organising that went into the event & putting up with my jousting issues!!!

To all the ground crew & especially Amanda Challen.  Nyx was an ABSOLUTE super star & so were you!  You helped out SO much, were there when you were needed & I meant to also say, you did great calling out when you were coming up to retrieve lances when we’re mostly blinded by our helmets.  We are very much looking forward to training you & Nyx up for Abbey!!!

The BIGGEST THANK YOU goes to my boy, Flash! Although he was driving me a bit batty with his separation from Teliah issues, when the time came, I was totally safe in the care of his “hooves”!  I most certainly could not have done it without him!!

And to anyone else that I may have missed, thank you!

It truly was, for me, SPECTACULAR!!!

Winners of free tickets to Medieval Joust Spectacular announced

List of Winners are updated!!!!! 11th November 2014

Congratulations and thanks to;

Kat Curtis – Two Tickets

Mads Manx – two tickets

Nerissa Rowen – 1 ticket

James Collins – 2 tickets

Paul Ferris – 2 tickets

Please email Brett@ourvillage.com.au to redeem your tickets before Wednesday 12th of November 4pm.

Last Week’s Winners;

Today is Melbourne Cup day, in the spirit of making you all feel better about potential financial loss, or just devastation about the after race death and injury of such beautiful horses, we want to give away the first round of FREE tickets to the Abbey Medieval Jousting Spectacular.

And the winners of the free tickets to the Medieval Joust Spectacular are;

Liz Burrage – 2 tickets

Donna Bloor Urguhart – 2 tickets

Gavin Shepherd – 1 ticket

Theresa Chapman – 1 ticket

Ashmore Goju Ryu Karate – 1 ticket

Southern Cross Martial Arts – 1 ticket

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Redeem your tickets by contacting brett@ourvillage.com.au

Enter the competition now if you weren’t a winner (it is still open) share this post on your Facebook page along with the hashtags #G20abbeyjoust and #thisisqueensland and you could win 2 tickets.

JUST BUY YOUR TICKETS AND BE DONE WITH IT LOL!!!!!

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The story of Antonio Del Rosa and Annelise von Blau

The year is 1400 and you are welcomed to the the celebration that marks the marriage of Antonio Del Rosa to the Lady Annelise von Blau.

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Antonio Del Rosa is the eldest son of the Del Rosa family, a noble household from the southern Tyrol region of northern Italy. Much to the dismay of his family, the handsome Antonio fell in love with the young and beautiful Lady Annelise of the von Blau family. The von Blau estate is located on the northern side of the Tryols.

These two families have a long and tumultuous history. An ancient feud, whose beginnings have long been forgotten in the mists of time, has seen these families on either side of wars and even today, continues to keep these families at odds.

An age old and somewhat tragic story which you might say echoes the writing of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet:

Two households, both alike in dignity,

In fair Tyrol, where we lay our scene,

From ancient grudge breaks no new mutiny,

Where civil blood past made hands unclean.

From forth the fatal loins of these foes

A pair of star-cross’s lovers made their life

Whose plighted troth the past o’erthrows

Do with their love bury their parents’ strife.

Fortunately for Antonio and Annelise, their story has not had the tragic end of Shakespeare’s characters. And so, we’re to gather here to participate in the Jousting Spectacular in honour of their nuptials.

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Jealous of their honour and ever mindful of former glories and defeats, both families and their partisans will no doubt try to prove their superiority in the joust and foot tournament over their former enemies, without the event degenerating into a civil war.

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The Italian speaking Della Rossa family can be identified by their red livery and the German speaking von Blau family will be clothed in a cool pallet of blues and greens.

The happy couple will sit separately from their respective families. Determined to enjoy this most sumptuous event, they refuse to have the celebrations of their love marred by the ongoing tensions between their families. Truthfully, they hope that these feelings will make for a more exciting and spectacular joust.

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Written by Damien Fegan

Book now to ensure you don’t miss out on the Medieval experience of a lifetime!

Medieval Food! Who else is hungry?

To celebrate the up and coming Medieval Jousting Spectacular, this blog post is all about food and drink in the Middle Ages! We love Medieval Food and it is always a big drawcard for visitors to our events.

Medieval Bread, Medieval Food

As with any historical period, what a person ate and drank depended on how rich they were. We’ll start with a typical diet of a peasant, and move up to the aristocracy.

Peasants

The average peasant’s diet in Medieval times consisted largely of barley. They used barley to make a variety of different dishes, from coarse, dark breads to pancakes, porridge and soups. After a poor harvest, when grain was in short supply, people were forced to include beans, peas and even acorns in their bread. Peasants also grew carrots, onions, cabbage and garlic to flavour their breads, porridges and soups, made cheese to eat with their bread, and gathered apples, pears and mushrooms in order to make pies and tarts. They also grew herbs like parsley, chives, basil and rosemary to further flavour their food.

Medieval Food

Peasants also ate a great deal of pottage. This is a kind of stew made from oats. People made different kinds of pottage – some added beans and peas, while others included vegetables such as turnips and parsnips. Leek pottage was especially popular, but the crops used depended on what a peasant had grown in the croft around the side of his home.

Medieval Food

Most people ate preserved foods that had been salted or pickled soon after slaughter or harvest, such as bacon, pickled herring, and preserved fruits. The poor often kept pigs, which, unlike cows and sheep, were able to fend for themselves in the forest, and were thus cheap to keep. Peasants were forbidden from hunting animals such as deer, boar, hares and rabbits that lived in woodland surrounding most villages, as they were deemed to be the property of the lord and strict punishments were handed out to those who ignored the laws. 

The Wealthy

In contrast, a nobleman’s diet would have greatly differed from the diets of those lower down the social scale. Aristocratic estates provided the wealthy with freshly killed meat and river fish, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. Cooked dishes were heavily flavoured with valuable spices such as caraway, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and pepper. Other ingredients that were commonly used included almonds and dried fruits such as dates, figs or raisins. Spicy sauces were also very popular. These foods were treasured by the rich because they were transported from far away lands and were therefore very expensive – they became a symbol of their wealth.

Cooked food

Most fruit and vegetables were cooked as it was a common belief of people in the Middle Ages that raw fruit and vegetables caused disease. In 1500, the Boke of Kervynge carving warned cooks to ‘beware of green sallettes and rawe fruytes for they wyll make your soverayne seke.’ (Beware of green salads and raw fruits, for they will make your master sick.) Gardeners grew fresh herbs which were used for both medical remedies and cooking, and were therefore an essential part of the nobleman’s garden.

Grilled Smoked pork with stewed cabbage flavoured with saffron, medieval food

The meal above is grilled smoked pork with stewed cabbage flavoured with saffron, or a modern interpretation of the Medieval dish. This is something the rich members of Medieval society may have eaten for dinner or supper. 

Banquets

Banqueting tables at grand feasts were decked with spectacular dishes – providing the perfect opportunity for the host to show off his wealth. Everyday jellies, pies, fritters and stews were accompanied by exotic animals such as peacocks, seals, porpoises, and even whales. Jellies and custards were dyed with vivid natural colourings – sandalwood for red, saffron for yellow, and boiled blood for black. But the most visually alluring pieces at the table were special sugar sculptures known as sotiltees (or subtleties). These sculptures came in a range of different forms, from castles to ships, famous philosophers, or even scenes from well-known fables. Sotiltees were served at the beginning of a banquet to  notify the guests of the approaching dinner. Meals were not separated into savoury main courses and sweet desserts like they are today – instead, many dishes were laid out together in one massive course.

The daily diet

This handy table gives you an idea of what both the rich and the poor’s daily diet would have looked like. It certainly highlights the differences!

Meal Lord Peasant
Breakfast Eaten between 6 and 7 in the morning. A lord might have white bread, three meat dishes, three fish dishes (more fish on a saint’s day) and wine or ale to drink. Eaten at sunrise. It would consist on dark bread, probably made of rye or barley, with ale to drink.
Dinner Eaten between 11 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. A lord would usually have three courses but each course might have between four to six courses in it. There would be meat and fish on offer with wine and ale. Similar to a “ploughman’s lunch”, it was eaten at around noon in the fields where the peasant was working. He would have dark bread and cheese. He might have some meat. He would carry a flask of ale to drink.
Supper Eaten between 6 and 7 in the evening. Very similar to dinner but with slightly more unusual dishes such as pigeon pie, woodcock and sturgeon. Wine and ale would also be available. Eaten towards sunset, so this would vary with the seasons. The main meal was vegetable pottage. There might be some meat or fish to go round. Bread would be available and ale.

For Medieval recipes to try, check out this website.

There will be a host of delicious medieval food on offer at the Jousting Spectacular, including:

Meat Pies, Venison Pies, Roast Rolls, Lamb Shanks, Chicken Drumsticks and Quiche.

For dessert, there will be Warm Apple Pies, Warm Raspberry Pies, and Cold Caramel Tarts. 

For snacks, there will be Warm Roasted nuts, Cheeses, olives and chunky bread and yummy Toffee Apples. 

Finally, to drink, there will be a range of alcoholic drinks, including: Celtic Heather Ale, Elderflower Sumer Ale, Peroni, Apple Cider, Pear Cider, Mead, Mulled Wine, Red and White Wine. 

And Non Alcoholic drinks including: Elderflower Cordial, Apple Isle Cider, Apricot Nectar, Norfolk Punch, and Bottled Water. 

Jousting spectacular details: reenactment and performers

Jousts and Tournaments

Tournaments and jousts were often held as part of the celebrations of important events in the late middle ages and through the renaissance and frequently the terms were interchangeable. These competitions, usually held with blunted weapons, were essentially team events. Whilst individual prowess was noted and rewarded, it was the team rather than the individual which won or lost. The most common division was into tenant and venan – effectively those who hold ground and those who are trying to take the ground, or to put it into modern sporting terms, home team and visitors. The outcome was decided by which team scored the most points by way of victories (tournament) or attaints/ hits (joust)  and some of the scoring sheets have survived to this day.

At the Abbey Medieval Jousting Spectacular, there is one scenario that is to become part of the background, which will enliven the experience for all who attend.

Setting

The storyline is that the event is a tournament to celebrate the union of two feuding houses from the Tyrol region in the far North of Italy through the marriage of their heirs. This will be played as a love match that will further highlight the tensions between the houses. Jealous of their honour and ever mindful of former glories and defeats, both families and their partisans try to prove their superiority over their former enemies, without the event degenerating into a civil war.  Think Romeo and Juliet albeit on a national rather than civic scale and a happy ending without the messy riots and the teen suicides.

Or in other words, and with sincere apologies to Shakespeare:

 Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Tyrol, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge breaks no new mutiny,
Where civil blood  past made hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers make their life

Whose plighted troth the past o’erthrows
Do with their love bury their parents’ strife.

One family, the Della Rossa, are Italian speaking, identified by red livery and they will be clothed in reds and gold. The other family, von Blau, are from the German speaking part of the Tyrol and are will be clothed in a cool pallet of blues and greens. The third group is the wedding party. This consists of the bride and groom and their immediate entourage. This party will represent the joining of the houses and the end to the troubles of the past, and thus they are characterised by all things young and beautiful. Their nuptials are the reason for the festivities.

Performers

Jousters

The jousters and some if not all of the support crew are being organised by Justin Holland of Nova Hollandia. The equestrian co ordinator for the Abbey is Paula Winkel. Justin has previously organised several jousts for the Abbey Festival.

Tournament

The tournament is being arranged by Knights Order Lion Rampant (OLR) which will be calling on assistance from individuals from other groups in Queensland, NSW and Victoria. In addition to combatants they will be providing attendants, heralds, some of the noble guests,  set dressing, and props. Lion Rampant has been staging the main tournament for the Abbey Festival for more than 20 years.

Musicians

As tournaments were festive occasions and hosts tried to outdo each other in inventiveness, exotic ploys such as musicians disguised as Moors were often recorded. Wayward and Musica Prima are our main musical performers for the Jousting Spectacular.

This is going to be an amazing jousting event experience – don’t miss out, book your tickets online now 

Abbey Medieval Jousting Spectacular – What you need to know!

We are so excited about our brand new event, the Abbey Medieval Jousting Spectacular! As we mentioned, this is a completely new event and therefore there are a host of frequently asked questions that we’d like to clear up for you, so that you can fully enjoy your evening.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Will there be markets at the event? 

No, there are no markets due to the event being a theatrical production. There will be food and beverages available prior to, during, and after the production. There will also be pre, interval and post event entertainment.

2. Where do people park? 

There will be parking available in the grounds adjacent to the Queensland State Equestrian Centre. Access via Beerburrum Road and will be clearly marked on the day.

3. Is parking free? 

Yes parking will be free.

4. Should customers pre purchase tickets or can they purchase on the day? 

It is recommended that people pre purchase tickets as there are limited seats available. As this is the first time this event has taken place, the interest has been very strong and we do expect to sell out prior to the event. The event is undercover so will proceed in most weather conditions. Should we not sell out prior to the event, tickets will be available at the gate.

5. What kind of food and drinks will be available? 

Our catering team are working on a full food and beverage menu to match the medieval experience. We will have medieval main meals available to purchase prior to the show and during the interval, plus we will have snacks and dessert options throughout the production and after. The event and venue will be licensed and will have medieval alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages all evening.

6. Will people be drinking alcohol inside the venue (ie. at their seats)? 

Yes, the entire venue is licensed, so people will be permitted to drink alcoholic beverages inside the main arena during the production. The event organisers will observe all responsible service of alcohol guidelines.

7. I have a wheelchair. Can I still come and where will I sit? 

There is reserved seating inside the main arena for people in wheelchairs, along with ramp and elevator access. Toilets for people with disabilities are located on each side of the Main Arena.

8. How do I get to QSEC via public transport and cars? 

The Queensland State Equestrian Centre (QSEC) is located on the corner of Tuckeroo Drive and Beerburrum Road, Caboolture. A car park is located adjacent to the arena for all people driving to the event. The venue is just over 2km from the Caboolture Train Station. Taxis are available from the train station and will drop guests off at the main entrance to QSEC. There will not be any other public transport options available directly to the venue.

9. What kind of concession ID is accepted? 

A valid full time Student, Pensioner, Seniors Business Discount Card, Companion Card or Health Care Card is a valid form of ID to be accepted to purchase a concession/student ticket to this event.

10. What are the opening and closing times of the event? 

The venue’s gates will open at 5:30pm. At this time, food and beverages will be available and pre show entertainment will be on offer. The production inside the Main Arena will commence from 7pm. There will be an interval at around 8:30pm for 30mins and it is expected the show will conclude at 10:30pm with extra post event entertainment and food and beverages available through to 11pm.

11. Where can I purchase tickets? 

Tickets are available to be purchased online via QSEC’s ticketing platform at www.qsec.com.au/Buy-Tickets. Tickets are also available at the QSEC box office or by calling the venue during business hours on 5433 3222. Customers may also contact the Abbey Museum or Our Village Foundation, but please note purchasing tickets through these avenues will be using the QSEC ticketing platform via their website, so will only be able to accept credit card purchases. Depending on the number of pre-sold tickets, customer may also be able to purchase tickets at the gate, but this is not guaranteed. It is expected that tickets will sell out prior to the event. Ticket purchases will appear as Moreton Bay Regional Council on bank statements.

12. Where can I find out more information about the event? 

Further information about the Abbey Medieval Jousting Spectacular can be found via the Abbey Medieval Festival website www.abbeymedievalfestival.com. You can also follow the Abbey Medieval Festival on Facebook for updates on this event at www.Facebook.com/AbbeyTournament.

13. Who is organising the event? 

The Jousting Spectacular is organised and delivered by Our Village Foundation in partnership with the Abbey Museum of Art & Archaeology as a key fundraising initiative for the museum. Our Village Foundation is a local not-for-profit that holistically supports the Moreton Bay region, primarily through the 101 Cause Program, and helps to support and raise funds for community groups such as the Abbey Museum throughout the year.

Hopefully this answers any questions you may have about the Abbey Medieval Jousting Spectacular. We can’t wait to see you there!