It was a hot and beautiful day Saturday, Aug. 25, when the air in Port Republic was punctuated with the thud of horse’s hooves and the cheer of spectators as professional and amateur ring jousters held their tournament at Christ Church.
Jousters between the ages of 5 and 85 took their steeds down the track attempting to spear as many as three dangling rings per pass.
The littlest ones had their steeds led for them in the “lead line” class. What it lacked in power and excitement it made up for in cuteness.
The amateurs and professionals plied their trade afterward, crossing the 200 foot long course in an average of a little over 8 seconds, spearing increasingly smaller rings.
During the early going the rings are as big as 1.75 inches in diameter, with the rings getting progressively smaller. The final round was won by a lancer that speared 2 out of 3 of the targets that were now only .25 inches across.
In the picture Jim Yoe shows off one of the championship ring targets – not much bigger than a lifesaver. This reporter couldn’t have walked up and speared it, let alone done it from horseback at a canter or gallop.
Jousting is a family affair here in Maryland. The champion of this tournament is a member of the Enfield family of Frederick county.
On this particular Saturday there were 4 generations of jousters from the Enfields, including their father, aged 85 who managed to spear 4 out of 6 rings in two passes along the track (very impressive).
He and the Mrs. were there celebrating their 52nd wedding anniversary. I guess a family that plays together really stays together after all.
Here are the official results from the joust (apologies for any misprints, my copy was badly faded):
Lead Line class:
3 Bryce Dudron Maid of tuff stuff
2 Catie Glass Maid in America
1 Joyce Barnett Maid of the Lily of the Valley
3 Crystal Weisner Maid of Purple Passion
2 Josh Weisner Knight of Atlanta
1 Jackie Rosenthal Maid of Cranwood
3 Tom Gannon Knight of Greenville