Jouster’s Profiles – Part Two

Second in our Jouster’s Profile series is Vikki Subritzky!

Lady Victoria Subritzky hails from Northland New Zealand.

She is from a distinguished line of noble Polish mounted warriors, and wears light armour very similar to what her fierce ancestor Jan Sobieski wore  in the Great Battle of Grunwald. There, the combined armies of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania decisively defeated the Teutonic Knights in a bloody battle that saw Jan Sobieski taking out many of the enemies warriors and horses.

Back to the present, Lady Victoria is a member of the International Jousting League, and has been jousting for 15 years. This is her sixth visit to the wonderful Abbey Tournament.

She is part of the jousting team Guild of the Hawk along with fellow Kiwiman John King, and together they regularly perform in various events and take part in many fundraisers for charitable organisations.

At home Lady Victoria breeds and trains sport horses, runs beef cattle and also runs a farm stay holiday, where people can enjoy a sample of rural life.

Her motto – Ancora Imparo – Yet I still learn.

Jouster’s Profiles – Part One – Lady Freya Erryn

First up in our Jouster’s Profile series is Lady Freya Erryn!

Known outside of jousting as Kimberley Belcher, Lady Freya is new to the world of jousting, but has been immersed in its culture from the beginning of her riding. She has always had a love of history, and Kim has enjoyed experiencing aspects of the cultures she has studied. Now, she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to compete.
Descendant of a light horseman, this 24 year old Queenslander is ready to do her heritage proud and compete with honour against her opponents on home turf. She’s completed her joust training upon Flash and Strider from Moonlight Manor, who are amongst the best mounts in the business, and in this tournament!
The 2015 Abbey Medieval Tournament will be her first competitive joust, she is keen to test her skills against the best and make her mark on the sport. Competing in 15th Century German Gothic armour she’s sure to make an impression, and will be easy to spot in her green and blue colours.

Keep an eye on this one, she’s sure to impress!

Shields, steel and saddles: The modern sport of jousting explained

On 6 and 7 July Caboolture will host an international tournament for one of most interesting of modern sports – jousting.  You may think jousting was a historic chivalric pursuit, but it thrives today as a modern contact sport.
Picture this: hundreds of kilos of humans, horses and armour charging at each other, intent on landing  the point of their 3 metre lance on the body of their opponent.  There will be wood flying, dents in armour, and if the crowd gets what they want, someone will be knocked off their horse.
No wonder it is popular.  In fact, so popular there is now an International Jousting League, with rankings, and there are annual prestigious jousting events that attract the best from around the world.

 

Sounds modern?  It’s the way the sport was organised in the 13th century.  In medieval times, the best knights would travel from tournament to tournament, and were the “sports celebrities” of their day.
Like all the best sports, the rules of jousting are simple and straightforward, but they allow a great deal of subtlety and gamesmanship from the competitors.
The object of jousting is for a knight to land their lance tip on their opponent – that scores points!   A hit is called an “ataint” and an ataint scores if it is a hit on the shield, body or helmet.  But you get even more points if you shatter your lance upon your opponent.  Yes, wince as you picture that.  The lances are designed to shatter on impact, and the tips are replaced after each ataint.  The breaking point is a set distance from the tip, and a lance must break at that point if it the ataint is to count.
And what does the  jousting “stadium” look like?  Like all sports, there are tiers of seatings all around, so the spectators can see every hit, hear every grunt, and all of the action.  Some things are eternal – it was the same for the gladiatorial games in Rome.
In the middle, picture this:  two horses and riders thundering down the line  towards each other, with a flimsy barrier separating them. The barrier, called a “tilt’, was used from the 14th century to prevent collisions between jousters.
Like most equestrian sports, spectators are more worried about the horses than the humans. Fear not, the horses are safe.  Safer than the jousters.  There have always been great protections built into jousting to protect the horses.  Harming or targeting  the horses is dreadfully taboo.  If a horse is hit, the offending knight loses the tournament and traditionally had to surrender his own horse!
In fact, we think the horses rather enjoy the action and attention.  Like the jousting knights, they don’t hold back.  And that is how all elite modern sports should be .

As a modern sport, jousting  may even be better than many of the ball-chasing events you see on pay TV.
It is a brief, intense one-on-one  contest where you can’t miss the action.  All the drama is distilled down to a single moment, the moment of impact.   There is noise, there is shiny armour, there are the “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd.  And sometimes, we see a knight knocked off his horse.
So take your kids to see an international sporting event in July. An event  with no drunken spectators, one where you get to see a result, and one where everyone learns something about the past.  Go to the jousting.

Jousting Tickets – Quick and Easy Online Bookings!

If you have tried to purchase tickets online for this year’s upcoming Abbey Medieval Jousting you may have noticed it was a little fiddly. Well, no more! We have just implemented a simpler, faster booking system so you can get your tickets for the joust of your choosing in a matter of clicks, right here 🙂

*** Please make sure you have purchased your festival entry tickets. Joust tickets only give access to the Joust session you have booked. Joust tickets are NOT festival entry tickets.