Leave the 20th century behind and head back into simpler times where chivalry and swords. This year, much like last year the main crowd drawing event at the Osgoode Medieval Fair was the Knights of Valour. A troop of individuals who ride horses and actual joust for a living. But first off the pre-joust warm-up activities!
The goal of the pre-games is to get the horses and crowd warmed up for the joust. Often with game of accuracy such as lancing a hay-bail (above) or putting the lance through consecutive rings being held up by the serfs (below). As I had my infrared Camera with me (D70s-IR @ 650nm cut) I took a lot of IR photos.
Introducing the Jousters on this day…
Each knight must choose a fair maiden from the crowd…
Then the Helmets Adorned are Battle Begins!
The joust is pretty simple, they rush at each other on horseback and try to break lances against each-other or knock the other to the ground.
This guy has the best job, he is the Jousting Official and Master of Ceremony. He basically rides his horse, makes jokes at the knights and the crowd and laughs all day because he isn’t in the heavy armor on a hot summer’s day.
As in the previous year, there were plenty of different clothing styles and colours to see if you keep your eyes open.
The knights in shining armor are not just there as decorations and participate in some pretty heavy duty and dangerous jousting competitions over the course of the Osgoode event.
For the spectators, there is plenty to see again this year. Music is supplied by the Celtic Sea and dance displays are scheduled throughout the day. Unlike 2009, this year, all of the events are in one locations so walking from one event to the other is much easier.
While the knights in shining armor were preparing for the next jousting contest, I continued to wander around the fair grounds photographing the many scenes.
Back at the jousting grounds, the saddles were still empty but spectators and photographers were beginning to claim their peace of real estate in preparation for the action that was soon to come.
Soon it was time to just sit back and enjoy the action as announcements were made, maidens were honored, some preliminary competitions showing speed, horsemanship and dexterity were out of the way, and then it was on to some heavy duty jousting action.
The jousting poles (lances) were ready. What were we waiting for?
Ah yes, before they lose their heads, each knight must select a young maiden to cheer them on and, of course, it is important to protect that head before trying not to lose it!
LET THE FUN BEGIN!!!
When contact is made, the modern day lance is designed to break in a safer manner. Still makes a great sound when lance hits armor and the splinters and parts fly into the air. Maximum points are scored when the opponent is unseated from his horse. This particular day, both riders scored points for serious contact on their opponent’s chest plate but both riders managed to stay aloft.
It was a hot day, and both knights wasted no time getting out of thier armor at the end of th ematch.
Jousting matches were enjoyed by the spectators who soon turned their attention to the other sport – shopping.
Every good Kingdom and just as in the past year, the Kingdom of Osgoode is no different. Always surrounded by beautiful women. Boy, what a royally tough job 🙂
Lots of good times. Hopefully, my travel plans for 2011 will allow me to visit the Kingdom of Osgoode again.
Just South of Ottawa is the small town of Osgoode, Ontario which hosts an annual festival of Medieval Proportions. There is a lot to do at one of these festivals, they have a marketplace, jousting arena (professionals only), archery, hand to hand combat, etc. Continue reading →
July 12th, 2009 – My son, Graeme, called me to tell me about the Mediæval Fair at Osgoode, Ontario. Weather was great so out I went. A really good experience. One group were shooting at targets with their long bows and some long pointy things :-).
Then there was the location where I met some very interesting people, especially a few who like to get on horses and charge at each other with actual jousting poles called lances :-). Nothing to lose your heads over but definitely a lot less safe than my normal sports.
The spectators were assembled and looking for a bit of action.
Well, there are exceptions to every rule so this young maiden was catching a bit of shut eye and plotting a bit of a murder instead of worrying about a knight or two.
Meanwhile, all of the assistants were gathering around to help out with the mounting while others were planning a rather rough dismounting or two.
Of course, every good jousting event requires an equally talented young maiden to show what she can do and this event was no exception.
And every event needs a bit of banter and this knight was quite capable of announcing the rules, ensuring that the spectators had picked a favourite, and contributing to the overall enjoyment of the day.
The spectators have chosen sides so let the jousting begin. Jousting = two knights with long lances riding at each other mounted upon well trained horses and hoping to be able to dismount their opponent. At this point in the performance the activities became much more serious as these knights were serious about dismounting their opponent.
To the winner the spoils and the applause of the crowd.
Meanwhile, the king and his entourage were out plotting something. They were acting peaceful but one look in their eyes 🙂 and you knew that they were up to no good.
More info about the King and his entourage here: www.ractenor.com
I won’t give away the end result of all of this Osgoode activity but did enjoy the music of the Celtic Sea.
More info about the group Celtic Sea here: www.celticsea.bravehost.com/