Thou Shalt Joust, Good Knight

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New York Renaissance Faire jousting Photo by Kimberly DijkstraOne of the main attractions at the New York Renaissance Faire is jousting—a competition that includes armored combatants on horseback charging at each other with lances. The first recorded mention of this particular combat exercise dates back to 1066.

For the uninitiated, jousting is a form of competition between two knights on horseback. Both participants gallop toward each other carrying long poles called lances, with which they try to knock each other off of their horses. Those unhorsed knights wind up continuing the fight with swords in a battle that is the equivalent of WWE in armor and chain mail.

Roundtable Productions is the company hired to put on this show that debuted at the unveiling of the Ren Faire’s newly constructed arena which features a bandstand that allows premium seating for guests at $10 a head, bleachers and the barrier in the middle that separates saddled combatants called a tilt.

There is also a preliminary show of equestrian skill called a ring tilt, in which participants ride from one end of the arena to the other at a full gallop and attempt to insert their lances through small rings held by the bravest squires.


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