Jousting is the most spectacular and the most dangerous activity that we engage in. It is also one of the few sports in the world where women compete with the man. Some of the best competitive jousters in the world are women.
Jousting is a specialist activity where two armoured riders engage each other at speed with lances. This tests a rider's horsemanship, lance skills and courage under the real pressure of a modern, full contact, competition.
Unlike other martial sports there is no defensive aspect - you are going to get hit. Points are awarded on how well you strike your opponent with maximum points being awarded for shattering your lance. This style of joust, known as the joust of peace became common from the 14th century onwards. We also use real armour because a solid hit to an unprotected person even in this style of joust will deliver more than enough force to kill.
While historically the head was considered to be a legitimate target with a strike to the head being regarded as being the most difficult, the objective of our style of jousting is to shatter a lance on the torso of the opponent while he or she is trying to do the same to you.
We also do not try to dismount the opposing rider because this will lead to real injuries - either to the horse or to the rider. However our hits are hard enough to cause unplanned dismounts and these do happen especially during competitions. But we award no additional points for this. Most of our injuries are the result of unplanned dismounts.
A modern day competition jousting match consists of a number of contacting passes where the riders attempt to hit each other’s shields at either the canter or the gallop. Points are awarded for each pass depending upon the quality of the hits scored. The winner being the person who scored the most points during the match.
We have also made some concessions in the interests of safety in the use of a barrier and counter-lists. These did not start to appear until the early 15th century. Before they were introduced it was difficult to maintain a correct line and this resulted in many head-on collisions and other accidents.
The risk of injury is always there despite our best efforts to minimise the chance of a severe injury. Correct armour, regular training and risk management practices developed from on-going experience go a long way to managing the risk to an acceptable level and in over 10 years of jousting we have never had a horse injured in any way or a rider seriously injured.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on our Jousting Displays.
All our training is done under the guidelines of the International Jousting League that promotes horse welfare, jousting and international competition.
The Order of the Boar recruits its members from the Upper Hutt/Wellington area. If you live outside of this area and are interested in re-enactment or jousting we can help you find a similar club near to you. In our local (Wellington Region) team we have places for:
Mounted Combat Team
Rider. You can ride competently and have your own horse and want to practice jousting and/or other cavalry skills in some capacity. Ideally you should have some form of horse transport so you can bring your horse to our training venue.
Foot Crew. You like working with horses and want to work in a support role alongside the horses the horses and riders. For somebody without their own horse, but who eventually wants to ride as part of our team, this is how you get involved. All of our current riders started as Foot Crew.
Foot Combat Team
Foot Combat Team. This is offered in association with the Upper Hutt Hapkido Academy. You may decide to also participate in our re-enactment or display activities but do not have to work directly with horses.
Knight School. This is also offered in association with the Upper Hutt Hapkido Academy and is aimed at 7 to 13 year olds and teaches them the basics of sword fighting with an emphasis on preparing them for safe competitions using foam swords and other weapons in a structured and disciplined training environment.
You don't have to limit yourself to one role. For example some of us are members of both the Foot Combat Team and Mounted Combat Team.