Jousting comes to Arundel Castle

Jousting and the castle by Julia Claxton
Jousting and the castle by Julia Claxton

Lances will shatter and tilt-rail tensions will run high at Arundel Castle on July 23-28 as Medieval Jousting Week returns for a six-day international tournament.


A spokesman said: “A true sporting competition, Medieval Jousting Week is the longest jousting tournament of its kind in the world and one of the most prestigious. This year, four international teams will journey to the heart of West Sussex in the pursuit of glory. Home team England and long-standing contenders France will be joined by two new teams: Scandinavia and Australia. The teams will compete in a battle for the sought-after team trophy. Also up for grabs is the coveted individual award, the Order of Arundel, as well as prizes for the winners of the hunting games and for the most chivalrous knight.


“Thrilling jousts will take place twice daily. Competitors will ride towards each other, lances at the ready. As they pass each other, they attempt to prove their dexterity by hitting their adversary on their plate armour – aiming for the shield for maximum points.


“Jousting isn’t the only skill that the competitors will be tested on. They will also have to prove their deftness with a sword by slicing cabbages resting on top of poles, demonstrate their prowess at archery and exhibit their power by striking a spinning quintain. Of course, they must do all of this on horseback!”


This year’s Knight Marshal, or judge, is Stacy Van Dolah-Evans, the tournament’s producer.


Stacy said: “Medieval Jousting Week at Arundel Castle is no ordinary event. It’s one of the world’s premier jousting tournaments, which every jouster aspires to win.


“We have invited some of the best jousters from across the globe to compete in this year’s tournament. To win it will take focus, determination and unparalleled skills on a horse. This last point is particularly important as the competitors will have never seen the horse they compete on prior to the event.


“This year’s competition boasts a stable of impressive stunt-horses that visitors may recognise from shows such as Poldark, Peaky Blinders and Victoria.”


Castle manager Stephen Manion added: “Following a great start to our summer season, we can’t wait to welcome visitors to our biggest event of the year. This action-packed tournament has become a favourite with visitors of all ages.


“Alongside the drama and excitement of the tournament, there will also be numerous activities taking place in and around a large tented encampment, including a professional storyteller, crafts, cooking demonstrations, falconry, have-a-go archery, performances of medieval music and more!”


Tickets for Arundel Castle’s Medieval Jousting Week are available on http://www.arundelcastle.org.

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