England Travel

International Jousting Tournament at Royal Armouries, Leeds

Yesterday my husband and I went to see the International Jousting Tournament at Royal Armouries, Leeds. I was so excited about this, that I bought our tickets from February. I loved every minute of it, so I’m sharing some pictures from the day, not as many as I thought I would, mainly because both myself and my husband were so excited by the Jousting that we forgot to take loads of pictures. The event was that good, so now I’m considering buying tickets for next year as well.

International Jousting Tournament at Royal Armouries, Leeds

First of all, if you plan to attend, take into consideration that you’ll need to join the queue at least 1 hour before the tournament starts to get ok-ish seats. It’s not boring though, as there are minstrels playing, there is a relics seller. He had some pretty amazing relics with him, including one of a saint (don’t remember the name) that made an astonishing miracle: drank 3 bottles of Prosecco and didn’t get a hangover. He had ears and fingers and was telling all sort of stories. It was hilarious. I also think it was quite accurate when it comes to jousting events as they were a few hundred years ago, when all sort of nonsense was sold.

On top of that, there were two jesters. One made two children fight with some polystyrene swords while people in the queue were cheering for them, of course, after they swear allegiance to one or the other. It was hilarious to see a hundred people or so bowing to a child and cheering him “in battle”.

Finally we got our seats for the first round of the day, the Melee. The knights greeted the crowds. We got cards with them with our ticket, their names, what they do by day or by knight (not my pun, but so funny), their coat of arms and motto.

There were four teams, from UK, US, Canada, and Poland.

International Jousting Tournament at Royal Armouries, Leeds

This is Melee, as in the knights are hitting each other with wooden clubs. Of course, points are awarded if they hit high, as the horses need to be protected.

International Jousting Tournament at Royal Armouries, Leeds

It was amazing. I wasn’t expecting the horses to be so excited and eager to go on to fight. All the horses are trained for the sport and also for filming. They are carefully selected and some of them came into the film industry as their owners said the horses are very aggressive and need a proper job.

International Jousting Tournament at Royal Armouries, Leeds

I loved it. UK won! How amazing was that for all the fans.

International Jousting Tournament at Royal Armouries, Leeds

After the Melee, we were shown some demonstrations of the horses abilities and courage. These animals are so impressive.

International Jousting Tournament at Royal Armouries, Leeds

The whip is used only to indicate to the horse that he needs to jump with the back legs as well. None of the horses were whipped during show. The presentor told us about these things and many more.

International Jousting Tournament at Royal Armouries, Leeds

In the end we could greet the knights and the horses. The horses were so friendly and cute. It was fantastic.

After the Melee, we went out of the arena and went to have a quick lunch, before going back to join the queue for the Jousting tournament.

International Jousting Tournament at Royal Armouries, Leeds

The knights made their parade for the crowds and we were told about the rules. It’s much more complicated than I would have guessed and I’m not too sure about the points awarded. But, there are points for horsemanship, as in the safety of the horse and the crowds.

International Jousting Tournament at Royal Armouries, Leeds

This is the team from UK.

International Jousting Tournament at Royal Armouries, Leeds

Jousting in action. It was exciting and thrilling, such an amazing sport.

International Jousting Tournament at Royal Armouries, Leeds

The winner! Andrew Deane from UK. His motto is: “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage”. He has been a living history officer for the last 20 years, at the Royal Armouries.
There were a few awards, by team, US won, there was another prize for the most chivalrous knight. Also a prize for the best swordsmanship, but I don’t remember the winner for that one.

International Jousting Tournament at Royal Armouries, Leeds

Beside Andrew is Mike Collin, the second knight from UK. He is a stunt rider and actor. He has appeared in movies like: Poldark, Victoria, the Crown, and Game of Thrones.

I can’t wait to go on another Jousting tournament. If you haven’t, then consider going, because it is amazing!

6 Comment

  1. Fabulous event! It’s curious to see the jousting against the backdrop of modern architecture. I’ve been to the jousting event in the Blenheim Palace, there was no sitting plan, people just sat and stood around the enclosed area. I think there is another jousting event coming to Blenheim in May.

  2. I would totally be in my element at something like this. It looks like such fun! We had a small Renaissance Faire over the weekend here (which I did not attend), but I have a feeling it would have been a disappointment in comparison to something this grand.
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  3. This looks loads and loads of fun. I’ve been to Renaissance fests before but never seen jousting. Love the colorful ensembles. And it sure was a gorgeous day for your day out!

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