Tournament of the Phoenix 2010

This awesome video produced by Wealth TV gives an insider’s view into the Tournament of the Pheonix. Stand alongside the noble knights-defenders and challengers alike! Enjoy!

SCA Cavalry Demo- Atlantian Knights

On May 15, 2009, members of  the Lance of the Argent Bear and House de Montfort, all denizens of the fair kingdom of Atlantia, created a medieval demo for the fortunate students of Shoal Berry Intermediate School in Duncan, SC.

The riders were competing for the honor of becoming the Queen of Camelot’s champion. About 150 students were divided into groups to cheer for their chosen knight. Who reigned victorious?  Watch and find out!

Many thanks to sommerbrendan for posting this footage!


Modern Cavalry Challenge-Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event 2009

Lexington , Kentucky is the heartbeat of America’s horse country.  Each year in April, elite riders from around the world gather at the Kentucky Horse Park to test themselves and their horses against the course at the Rolex Three-Day Event.

Three Day Eventing began as a complete test of the mounted warrior and his horse. Eventing consists of three phases. The first phase, dressage, mimics battle drills and regimental parades.  Horse and rider must navigate a pre-memorized pattern of intricate movements.  They are judged on balance, obedience and accuracy.  For the veteran event horse, a thoroughly fit athlete amped up for the wild run which comes next, dressage is also a test of patience.

The second phase, cross-country, is a long, fast gallop over varied terrain and solid fences, as if a soldier were bearing a critical message to a distant ally.  Horse and rider accrue penalties and can be eliminated from competition for going off course, refusing a jump, exceeding the optimum time, or falling.

The final phase is show jumping in an arena over fences that knock down at the lightest brush of a hoof. This tests the fitness, suppleness and continued obedience of a horse who has already completed the grueling cross-country test.

Only the most athletic, courageous and well-trained horses successfully complete a three-day event.  Through their skills, such horses pay homage to great war steeds throughout history.

Below, Great Britain’s  Lucy Wiegersma and Woodfalls Inigo Jones cleanly navigate the Duck Pond. Enjoy our extensive gallery of video clips from the 2009 Lexington Kentucky Rolex Three Day Event at Laughing Gypsy Photography.

Sylvan Glen Equestrian Authorization

Mother nature challenged Sylvan Glen’s equestrians once again on authorization day!  Gale force winds howled through spring’s sunshine and deep mud, knocking over equipment and carrying conversations away.  Our intrepid equestrians refused to be swayed and gathered on the fields of honor at the Bower farm.

An Imposing Silhouette: Rachel and Pierre Pointelle, Scott and Cassandra, and Lady Banshee

Intrepid Equestrians of Aethelmearc

Lord Gunnarr and Lady Banshee traveled down from Endless Hills to conduct authoriztions and direct the merry mayhem.  Lady Bathory Rose accompanied them.  Participating equestrians were: Scott, Noel, Rachel, Mark and Kirsten.  Paticipating equines were: Cassandra, Sioux, Dolly,and Pierre Pointelle.  Rosamund ground crewed– thanks Rosamund! The newborn colt studied the grown warhorses from his lookout in the roundpen and impressed us all with his levade (a controlled rear used during mounted warfare as defense against artillery and elephant warriors.)

Gypsy colt in levade

The authorization process first tests the rider’s control of the horse with the reins carried in one hand, leaving the other hand free for a weapon.  Riders performed figure-eights and transitions (changes in gaits) to prove their communication with their mounts.  We then took up weapons and demonstrated the games.   In Gunnarr’s words, all riders passed the authorizations “with flying colors.”

Mark and Dolly Behead the Enemy:

Mark and Dolly Behead the Enemy

 Noel and Sioux Tilt the Rings:

noel and sioux tilt the rings

Kirsten and Pierre Pointelle Gallop the Reed Chop:

KIrsten and Pierre Pointelle Gallop the Reed Chop

We put our horses and equipment away and reconvened in the barn.  Bathory Rose brought forth examples of her beautiful horse barding and caparisons.  The patient Pierre Pointelle (made even more agreeable by Rachel’s endless apple supply) modeled the exquisite equine garb.

Mark, Kirsten and the Endess Hills contingent then joined Margarita, Bera, and Snaebjorn at the fairgrounds to discuss layout and scheduling for the upcoming Siege of Glengary.   The site is perfect and the autocrat is amazing.  We equestrians invite you join us in September… and for all the practices leading up to an unforgetably good time!

Click here for the slideshow

“Armored Horse in Europe”:NYC Met-stravaganza

in 2005 my dear SCA friend Sueva did the books for my business.  Around that time I found out she’d never been to the the amazing museums of NYC which were my playground in my northern incarnation.  I was horrified–Sueva is of strong artistic bent–if anyone NEEDS to enjoy these museums, it’s her.  As a “thank you” I hosted her on a great metropolitan adventure.

We had ulterior motives.  Sueva is an accomplished glassworker.  She was in the process of recreating a vibrantly-colored stained glass piece… from a black and white photo.  That piece resides at  the Cloisters, a reproduced monastery in the Bronx which houses much of the Met’s medieval collection.  And it just so happened that the “Armored Horse in Europe” exhibition was running alongside the Met’s amazing permanent armor collection.

Off we went, artistic spirits hungry, camera in hand.  I recently found my photo archives from this adventure, including pieces that are STILL on my list of things to recreate, along with documentation.  Enjoy!

Challenging Chariots

Long before the first mounted warrior swung a leg over the back of a mighty steed, chariots were the deadly equine weapon of choice.  In approximately 1345 BC, the Mittanian horse master Kikkuli authored the oldest known written horse training treatise (remember Xenophon wasn’t even BORN until around 430 BC.)  “The Kikkuli Text,” discusses the training and care of the chariot horses which allowed the Hittites and later the Assyrians to conquer their empires.  For thousands of years, victory rode behind, rather than upon, the warhorse.

The Discovery Channel teamed up with one of my favorite modern-day horsemen, Tommy Turvey, for an episode of Weapons Masters.  The challenge?  Improve on the design of a weapons system successful through centuries!  (We’ll stick with horses!)



Lysts at Castleton

This professionally produced video clip from last year’s Lysts at Castleton was just posted on YouTube.  The riders are Sir Alexis la Bouche and Master Terafan Greydragon.  The event is held in the Barony of Bryn Gwlad, Ansteorra.  Enjoy!