Pomp and Circumstance ~The King’s Tournament

The Knights and Jousting at King Richard’s Faire certainly follows the most ritualistic formula.

The “ring master” announced the King who mounts the viewing stand,

then announces the Knights who gallop in and take a run around the field before lining up in front of the King to pledge their loyalty. Then the King commands the games to begin  and each Knight heads to his place in the field.

On command they race full tilt at a jousting dummy or spear rings that are thrown in the air by their squires.  These are the games and sort of set the stage for the last meet in the afternoon when the “real” joust takes place.

Every year there is a back story to the jousts. It is played out in 3 parts. The morning games lay the groundwork and determine the “champion.” Usually it is also when you find out what the thing is that went wrong. Maybe it’s two Knights vying for the same Maiden or this year the Gold Prize for the games was missing.

Since I was lingering at the Tiger Stage so I could get the picture with the hawk, I missed this show which was called  “The Challenge of the Champions”.

It was now 2:30 and  I was ready at the field. The title of this installment was “The King’s Tournament”. This was when I was brought up to speed with the story.

When the Knights were introduced the “villain” Knight was argumentative and accusatory. It was pretty clear he was the “bad guy” but he was also the most popular. He got loads of cheers.

Two other Knights seemed to be there just to fill out the cast. They rode and performed the stunts but with little banter.

 The last Knight to be brought in was announced as the Champion. I assume he must have won the morning Challenge to earn the title. It was clear the Bad Knight had it in for the new Knight even accusing him of stealing the prize.

As the Tournament progressed the war of words intensified and “Bad Knight” was disqualified for cheating. Finally  “bad Knight” accused “Champion” of the theft and challenged him to a fight to the death.

The King allowed the challenge and everyone was to return to the Tournament field for the  last installment of the story the “Joust to the Death.”

The dismissed Knights galloped out of the arena but not before Bad Knight attempted to engage Good Knight (yes, I know, bad pun) in some hand- to -hand.

As the crowd began to disperse the squires returned with the horses, now unsaddled. Immediately each of  the horses picked out a favorite place and dropped and rolled. You could just tell how good that felt to them. 🙂 Nothing like a good dust bath to get ride of that sweat.

I’d seen as much as I wanted but I was curious about the afternoon joust so I wandered back to the picnic area where I spent the afternoon watching the crowds until it was time for the last installment.

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