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Men with big sticks at the show? You must be jousting

Jousting is coming to the Tenterfield Show for the first time this weekend.
Jousting is coming to the Tenterfield Show for the first time this weekend. Contributed

TENTERFIELD will be transported back to the 13th Century tonight as the sport of jousting fills the showground for the first time.

Bathurst couple Rod and Michelle Walker, of Full Tilt: The Original Sport of Kings, started jousting 20 years ago after a love of history led them into the sport.

"It just sort of happened," Mr Walker said.

"We've always had an interest in history and I decided I'd rather do it than read about it."

The image that might spring to mind is Heath Ledger on horseback in the film A Knight's Tale, and Mr Walker said that was actually pretty accurate.

"That is what we do, except we do it for real," he laughed.

Mr Walker said he and his wife had been hurt "a lot" in their 20 years of jousting, but it was something they absolutely loved.

Flying towards your opponent as a massive wooden lance approaches may have the best of us shaking in our boots, but Mr Walker said he was not scared.

"I've been at it for 20 years - it's all automatic now," he said.

Yes, he admitted, the sport was "slightly dangerous", but with their heavy armour (copies of the original armour used for jousting, weighing 30-40kg) plus lances with 3ft of balsa wood on the end of them, the risk was small.

The balsa wood end is much softer than the rest of the lance, and much less deadly than the steel tips on the original solid lances.

However, Mr Walker and one of the jousters performing tonight, Luke Binks, are two of maybe seven or eight jousters around the world who have actually jousted with a steel-tipped lance.

They both lived to tell the - impressive - tale.

While Mr Walker won't be jousting tonight due to injury, he will be marshalling in the ring on horseback.

He said he could barely contain his excitement about the group's first appearance at the Tenterfield Show.

"We love performing in front of crowds," he said.

Full Tilt will be performing at the Tenterfield Show tonight at 7pm.

Full Tilt also conducts jousting training. To find out more about Full Tilt, visit jousting.com.au.

 

Jousting is coming to the Tenterfield Show for the first time this weekend. Photo Contributed
Jousting is coming to the Tenterfield Show for the first time this weekend. Photo Contributed Contributed

Topics:  editors picks jousting


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