No-one wants to miss the Abbey Festival’s heart stopping jousting tournament! Every year, the jousting tournaments are big crowd pleasers as they’re treated to an exciting display of skill, grace and honour. Our jousting team are professional showmen with real talent and a big understanding of jousting weaponry and traditions.
Medieval Armour and Knights Costumes Welcome!
We love to treat Abbey Festival visitors to real showmanship and insights into Medieval times. And we want you to be part of the atmosphere! Please come along in Medieval armour or knights costuming and feel free to bring your Medieval shields. Be aware though that any dangerous items will be held at the gate. If armour and weapons are part of your costume please complete a weapons permit application.
Jousting is a major part of the Abbey Medieval Festival experience. The Abbey strives to be the leader amongst Brisbane museums in bringing history to life and jousting tournaments are a thrilling part of medieval history.
In medieval times, the best knights would travel from tournament to tournament, and were the “sports celebrities” of their day. To get into the spirit of the Abbey Medieval Tournament, we will soon be introducing you to the good knights who will be jousting as well as their Horses. We hope you choose your favourite and cheer them on!
Meet the Jousters and their noble horses!
Sasha has been involved with jousting and re-enactment since 2003, and takes part in events all over the world. She leads the 14th century group ‘Household of the Green Knight’, whose members spent an enormous 44 medieval-kitted days in the saddle in 2011, and participated in three international tournaments. Sasha has placed fourth at the 2012 Professional Jousting League Tournament at Blacktown, and fourth at the 2010 Horsearchery Competition in Poland.
Sasha is now looking forward to joust at the well-renown Abbey Medieval Tournament. She has qualifications in Jousting, Heavy Combat, Riding, Skill at Arms, Horsearchery, and Live Steel combat. Her motto is Audere est Facere – To Dare is to Do.
Renaissance is the leading performance horse of the ‘Household of the Green Knight’, and has completed over 30 public events involving mounted combat, horsearchery, blackpowder displays and international jousting tournaments.
Renaissance is a brown ten-year-old Australian Stock Horse mare standing at 15.3h/161 cm, who grew up working cattle in the outback of Queensland. Mercifully spared by a kind worker at the meat works, she was brought to NSW, and eventually found the ‘Household of the Green Knight’.
She has since asked her humans to learn about riding her in the Dorrance, Hunt and Brannaman tradition. Renaissance performs bitless and barefoot in Medieval Re-enactment, does Napoleonic Formation riding, as well as dabbling in ‘Working Equitation’ and Garrocha work. The ‘Household of the Green Knight’ is looking forward to exhibiting Renaissance in her state of origin!
Andrew McKinnon is back for his third Abbey Tournament. Last year, he competed in the Pas d’Armes of St Michael where he broke several lances with Sir Luke Binks.
In his debut in Australia at the 2010 St George’s Day Tournament, Andrew placed a creditable fourth, beating some of the world’s best. Andrew was a member of the victorious Australian Jousting Team in 2010 that defeated New Zealand at the Taupo Knights Challenge. In 2011 Andrew, as Captain of Arms, journeyed across the Tasman to defend this country’s honour at the Taupo Knights Challenge.
Andrew has won the Skill at Arms contest at Blacktown Medieval Faire, May 2012, third place at the Australian Jousting Championships, Bathurst May 2012, and was a member of the winning New Team over the Old World European Team, Neauphle le Chateau, France, June 2012.
In 2012 Andrew will see more overseas and local action as he tries to improve his ranking in the International Jousting League. He is most excited to see his good friends at the Stag Inn again and sample their fine venison and meads.
Malleus is the tournament horse of Andrew McKinnon. Malleus is Latin for “Hammer”, and he is an eleven year old thoroughbred cross stock horse from the Lithgow area of NSW. Andrew and Malleus competed in their first Australian Tournament together at Ironfest in Lithgow in 2010, and came a creditable fourth in the joust. This is Malleus’ third appearance at the Abbey Tournament.
Nicky Willis has been competing in jousting tournaments for two years. She has competed twice at the IJL Hackaland event in Belgium, at Horsands in Denmark in 2010, and will be returning to Horsands in 2012. She has also competed and done several show jousts in England.
Nicky is based in Oxfordshire, England and has been a horse addict since she was eleven years old. Her successes have been from showing ponies in-hand to riding events: her true passion lies in driving – everything from horse drawn funerals to chariot racing! She now manages the prestigious Tournament Stud in England where horses are bred and trained for driving, film work, jousting and historical re-enactment. Nicky also works for world renowned stunt man, Tony Smart.
Justin Holland has been jousting since 1996. He has jousted all over the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France, Poland and the UK. Justin was the champion of Kryal Castle 2004, St Michael’s Tournament Champion 2006, and Zamek Gniew Tournament 2010. Justin is the Jousting and Horse Master at Kryal Castle in Ballarat www.kryalcastle.com.au. Justin also owns ‘Nova Hollanaia’ an historical performance and entertainment company.
He was the team captain of victorious Australian jousting team at the 2010 Knight’s Challenge Tournament, Taupo, New Zealand, and runs Nova Hollandia, a jousting troupe from New South Wales. Justin is a founding member and instructor with the International Jousting Association.
Justin has been the Abbey Tournaments jousting winner twice, in both 2006 and 2012.
It will be easy to spot Justin. His coat of arms is three white fleur de lys on a red field, and his motto is Invictus in animo (Unconquered in spirit).
Justin is not sure who he will be riding in this years tournament but in previous tournaments rode Strider, a 20-year-old thoroughbred bay who used to work as a stock horse before learning to joust. Strider is a stoic, reliable horse who loves running, especially running in a straight line, and is always off quickly at the jousts. He also loves the mock combat of the Skill at Arms and melee: he likes to bump into other horses, as it makes him think of his stock work days! He is a real soldier who knows his job.
Justin also rode Flash, a grey thoroughbred cross quarter horse, 15 hands high and 16 years old. This is his seventh Abbey Medieval Tournament. Flash thinks he is a real war horse, and he knows his job. At the jousting he lays his ears back, races down the tilt line and will occasionally have a snap at the other horse on the way past! Flash loves the Skill at Arms and the melee. If he gets a chance, he will rub his head on an opposing rider and try to knock them off. He is a bit of a rogue and is very mischievous.
Hailing from Sulky in Victoria, this is Wayne’s first time jousting at the Abbey Medieval Festival. Wayne has been riding and breaking-in horses for a very long time and has ridden with the Australian Light Horse, American Civil War Cavalry, and Napoleonic Cavalry groups. Wayne jousts under the name of Sir Angus McFarlane and his motto is Virtus in Concordia – Strength in Unity. However, if he is wearing a black helm, he becomes the Black Knight who has been known to steal people’s horses, make outrageous claims to impress women and make small children cry! The Black Knight’s motto is “Win at all costs (even if it means cheating)”!
Bryan Ketley is a New Zealand born jouster now residing in Brisbane city. His motto is ”Bono vince malum” which means to “overcome evil with good”. Bryan has been riding for nearly four years and has competed in two Abbey Medieval jousts and one competition in New Zealand. He rides Merlin Firefoot, a horse he himself trained. Bryan wears armour of late 14th century design. When he is not jousting Bryan works as a Software Architect for the Superstructure Group and participates in activities of three re-enactment groups as a Knight in the order of Lion Rampant, a Feifechter in Marxbruder and a Trooper in the French 3rd Dragoons (Napoleonic French Cavalry).
From: Howell MI, USA
Started Jousting: 2011
Motto: A coeur vaillant rien impossible – To a valiant heart nothing is impossible
Samantha has been riding for the past several years. Although a latecomer to horses, she immediately developed a passion for riding, and is often found jumping, running barrels, working with new horses or on the trail. In 2010 Samantha was asked to assist in training horses for jousting and from the moment she mounted in armor she knew she had to compete.
From: Howell MI, USA
Started Jousting: 1983
Motto: Aut viam inveniam aut faciam (I will either find a way or make one)
Dale was one of the first jousters in North America, beginning his career in the early 80′s. After a long layoff, Dale returned to the sport in 2010. Since then he has jousted numerous tournaments in the USA, and Canada. He was also one of the jousters selected to represent the USA in competition against the French National Team at the prestigious Neauphil le Chateau, France, tournament in 2012, where Team USA emerged victorious. Dale is currently ranked #3 in the USA, and #6 in the world by the International Jousting League.
It is rumored that he is the “real” Tony Stark of Ironman fame as in addition to wearing a suit of armor he owns a company that designs and builds military weapons systems. Dale lives in Howell, Michigan on his horse farm, The Excalibur Horse Center, where he trains his joust team “The Knights of Iron”.
Lady Talisien Bleechmore
Lady Talisien, hailing from the New England region of NSW has been competing on the tilt for almost 15 years. Traveling to places such as Sweden, Belgium, France, Poland and New Zealand as well as the east coast of Australia.
Her motto is “Animum a Corde” Courage from the heart
Highlights of her jousting career have been:
2005 New Zealand – Harcourt Park IJA International Championships -3rd in to Joust
2007 Sweden- Uppsala International – 3rd in the joust. Her mount awarded “best horse”
2008 Poland- Ginew international – 2nd in the skill at arms besting 22 international identities of the joust after a nail biting 3 round match off. ( the joust in Poland 2008 was restricted to males only) Awarded ” Best lady rider”
The Lady Talisien is a level 4 instructor with the International Jousting Association.
Taking great pride in presenting Quality War horses, her families horse stud and training facility in the New England “Horse of War” is the ideal setting for this endeavor. Some of you may remember the Mighty Black Stallion “Jotenheime Fenris” A tonne of Percheron stock and a war horse that took The lady through many high impact jousts. His first son ” Iron Clad Conquest” will be on the field throughout this tournament.
But today we re- introduce “Wyndyarra Dante”.
Dante is a “Spanish Norman” and his motto is “Quid facitis eam bonam” Whatever you do, make it look good.
Dante first took the tilt field right here at the Abbey in 2005 and proved his mettle as a courageous and fearsome opponent. Following a few successful tournaments in Australia he broke his shoulder on the “Mighty Black Stallion” and was retired from the tilt with an ambiguous prognosis. He recovered his jubilance in 2010 taking this field under French jousters “Lady Marie” and “Sir Luc” In 2013 “Wyndyarra Dante” has something to prove. With the Lady Talisien he will face all opponents with joy, strength and dedication to the art of war…………..not to mention a fair display of grace under fire.