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Joust around the corner: Arundel Castle announces competitors
Lances will shatter and tilt-rail tensions will run high at Arundel Castle on 23-28 July as Medieval Jousting Week returns for a six-day international tournament. A true sporting tournament, rather than a showcase, the jousting week at Arundel Castle is regarded by competitors as a true test of skill.
Set beneath the ancient Castle, it is the longest jousting tournament of its kind in the world, and one of the biggest!
This year, traditional rivals England and France will face two new teams: Australia and Scandinavia. Of the eight knights, four are new to the tournament and will arrive ready to prove their honour to the crowd. Two female jousters will return to compete.
The jousters deemed worthy to represent their nations are: England: Mike Collin and Zachary Evans France: Luc Petillot and Marie Baron Scandinavia: Bente Andresen and Klas Lundberg Australia: Luke Binks and Phillip Leitch The producer of Arundel Castle’s jousting tournament, Stacy Van Dolah Evans, will act as this year’s Knight Marshal, or the referee.
Stacy says: “This is one of the world’s premier jousting tournaments and something every sports jouster aspires to win. The stakes are high and the atmosphere is incredible. “We select the best competitors from across the globe. Jousters clamour to be picked - it’s a real chance to highlight their skill and valour on an international stage in one of the highest regarded tournaments in the world.” “It takes focus, strength and horsemanship to win as they are tested over six days on multiple horses. We will be looking for the competitors who can keep their cool and who have the ability to quickly build a relationship with a horse they have never ridden before.”
The jousters will vie fiercely for the coveted title of Individual Winner – the Order of Arundel - and the Team Win trophy. Whilst England is the incumbent winner, France, Scandinavia and Australia will arrive eager to claim glory for their own! The Most Chivalrous Knight and Winner of the Hunting Games titles will also be up for grabs.
Castle Manager Stephen Manion commented: “Our Medieval Jousting Week is the highlight of our busy summer events calendar. It’s also a fun-packed day out that’s perfect for families, complete with a large tented encampment, falconry, storytelling, have-a-go archery for over 8s. and much more!”
Tickets start at £12 for a child, £25 for an adult and £62 for a family. For more information and to book tickets, please visit: www.arundelcastle.org.
Meet the knights of Arundel Castle The Kingdom of England
Two new competitors represent the Castle’s home team and reigning champions. England’s secret weapon is Mike Collin, an actor and stunt rider whose skill in the saddle has landed him appearances in Game of Thrones, Victoria, War Horse, Poldark, The Crown and more. Mark is also a Guinness World Record holder for the most (16) dismounts off a moving horse within 30 seconds.
Although school teacher Zachary Evans has been jousting for eight years, he has only just started on the international scene, competing at Rivaux castle in France last year. Having always wanted to test himself against jousters from around the world, he leapt at the chance to compete at Arundel Castle. The Kingdom of France France is the longest standing foreign team competing, with seven appearances in eleven years. Despite this, France has yet to taste the glory of a win at Arundel Castle. Luc Petillot has been jousting for 20 years and is an instructor of HEMA (Historical European Martial Art). Marie Baron, who trains horses for films and re-enactments, has jousted at Arundel once before and will return hungry for success.
Challengers from the New World: Australia Whilst Australia was not a medieval kingdom, modern-day Aussies have enthusiastically embraced the sport and this new team is expected to be fierce competition. Professional armourer Luke Binks has been jousting for 18 years. He was also one of just three knights in the world to re-introduce jousting with real historical lances. Phillip Leitch is a former Australian Special Forces soldier with experience in martial arts, horse riding and medieval armed combat. He is a founding member of ‘The Order of the Star’, an elite group of knights whose mission is to inspire others to excel. A force from the North: Scandinavia Scandinavia will be represented by two experienced jousters from Norway and Sweden.
Bente Andresen of Norway possesses a variety of skills from dressage to fencing to HEMA and has served in the Norwegian army. She has greatly contributed to Norway’s jousting community. Welding teacher Klas Lundberg of Sweden has been jousting for 25 years and is well-known thanks to his high-profile European victories.