Friday, June 21, 2013

Myself as Sir Gawaine of Orkney, Jousting Knight for Noble Cause Productions

A little more about myself is that another one of my hobbies besides wargamming is jousting on horse back. I ride in my spare time as a Jousting Knight for Noble Cause Productions as Sir Gawain of Orkney, a villain of a knight. It is a lot of fun and dangerous at the same time, right up my alley.

After watching the Charge of the Rohirrm against Mordor in the Battle of Pelennor Fields in the movie Return of the King from Lord of the Rings, I got so modivated to have a custom Eomer costume made. I had two different armorers make me a set of leather armor and eventually found another armorer to make me Eomer's helm as well as other sets of armor. I had only planned to go the faire and have a great time and make new friends.

After attending the faire, I made a friend Bryan Beard the owner of Noble Cause Productions. At the time he was the production manager for the faire I attended called Excalibur Fantasy Faire in Smithville, TX. He offered me to be on cast for the following season, which I accepted. I became Sir Eaoden the next season, which turned out to be the last season for that faire.

Also became good friends with the costuming group the Dragons and learned stage combat. Going over the fight almost 400 times. I even got to get thrown across the fields a few times. I also met my future wife at this faire.

My beautiful wife Lorie who I met at Excalibur Fantasy faire.
Me in my new set of armor made by a great blacksmith at the faire, he also made the helm that went with my horse lord armor. As time went on, I started realizing how much I loved acting and stage combat. I started talking with Bryan Beard about possibly jousting in his company one day.

For awhile I traveled to various faires and had alot of fun with my friends around Texas. I eventually learned how to make my own armor and weapons. I didn't make an entire suit of armor, but I learned how to make different pieces which was amazing to actually creat. I made my own sabatons, mace, modified some armor I had and eventually learned to strengthen my armor so that it would last longer. I learned everything from my friends.

Sir Eaoden at Excalibur Fantasy Faire.

When Noble Cause Productions started jousting for Scarborough Faire in Waxahatchie, Texas, I finally got my chance to become a squire and to start learning skills to become a knight one day. I worked very hard and did a very good job and made some really great friends for life.

On my way to Kansas City to learn to joust, after squiring at Scarborogh Fair in Waxahatchie, Texas. I bought all my stuff, got a saddle from Oregon. I had armor already, and I also modified my armor so that it would stay on during falls or fights. I also bought a Helm from Germany.

Me and Diego getting Sir Roderick ready for a Joust to the Death at Kansas City Ren Faire in 2006. I was head squire at the faire but during the week I would be riding, training, working and learning to joust.

At Kansas City Ren Faire I learned how to ride and joust. It was one of the most hardest things in my entire life to do and learn besides being in the US Marines, but I quickly grasped the skills and learned from all my mistakes. Here I am jousting for the first time during the weekdays with Bryan Beard aka Sir William.

My debut as Sir Gawaine of Orkney in the colors of green and gold at the 2006 Kansas City Ren Faire. I was not supposed to joust until the last show, however one of the riders was injured and I saddled up and rode for the remainder of the shows.

I went on to earn my spurs and became a Jousting Knight for Noble Cause Productions in 2006. Before I got to Kansas City, I had read the script about 500 times and knew everyones lines, which helped because I wanted to focus on riding and not having to remember my lines.

I eventually put my skills to work jousting at Scaroborough faire the following year, which was a honor, the same field where I learn to squire, where it all started. And yes, hitting the ground does hurt sometimes.

Me on Diego losing my stuff and taking a fall against Sir Roderick.

 I made my way to the Muskogee Ren Faire where all my skills were put to the test. Me and my good friend Jeff Cavazos took turns hitting each other. I learned how to woe the ladies at this faire. I myself am not much of a romantic, so it was a bit of a challenge to woo the Queen....but I did somehow. Evil Knights have that way on the ladies...ask my wife. Now we have two daughters. The skills came in handy.

One of the skills is to learn how to catch rings on the end of  your lance. This is a display of skills to impress the Queen or court and for the audience. As long as the squire throws the rings correctly, it isnt all that hard. Another reason is to test the footing of the steeds by lancing at the rings. Once the knights have found the field suitable, the joust can begin.

Sir Gawaine of Orkney and Diego riding out for a joust.

In the field of combat at Muskogee Ren Faire.

Jousting is a very hard skill to learn. Alot of people think it is easy to do, because we make it look so easy. Learning to do 10 things at once on a horse and doing it well, requires alot of training.

Jousting Sir Roderick at Scarborough Fair.

Talking to patrons after a show. One of my favorite parts, especially when I see a young child light up.

Here I am jousting Sir William at Scarborough.

Riding in the parade at Scarborough with Sir Micheal.

Another part of the joust is the arming ceremony. Here Sir Roderick is arming me up to joust. After being armed both Knights salute each other after a prayer is said and then go to their ends to began the joust.

Why God gave you you wont land on your head. Taking a fall after a hit from Sir Roderick.

Riding out on a steed to the Field is such a rush. There is nothing more rewarding in life to be riding out on a fast horse.

Waiting to charge looking to see if the other knight is in the ready.

Sir Roderick and Sir Gawaine in full tilt.

Getting ready for a six man joust. These are one of the most dangerous joust, having multiple horses charging at the same time on the field. Getting knocked off in the wrong place can spell disaster.

In the ready during a six man joust.

One of the most proudest things I have done in my life was becoming a Jousting Knight. The other was becoming a United States Marine in the Infantry. They go hand in hand.

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