‘Champions’ to compete in six-day jousting event

Stacey Evans and Mark Caple celebrate England's win at a previous year's International Joust tournament.' photo �Julia Claxton SUS-180205-094854001
Stacey Evans and Mark Caple celebrate England's win at a previous year's International Joust tournament.' photo �Julia Claxton SUS-180205-094854001

Arundel Castle’s International Jousting and Medieval Tournament is set to take place between Tuesday July 24 and Sunday July 29.

Some of the world’s finest jousters will vie for glory on for this year’s champion of champions edition.

The unique six-day spectacular promises more tilt-rail drama than ever before as the tournament celebrates its tenth outing.

The competitors will be made up of the highest scoring individual jousters from years gone by - meaning there will be no team competition this year - but with solo glory on the line, visitors can expect the fiercest competition to date.

Each competitor has previously represented his kingdom at the castle and battled bravely under its banner.

Allegiances will be broken, and lances will shatter, as former teammates face each other as opponents at the tilt rail.

Representing some of the best and most celebrated jousters in the world, visitors can watch the competitors in action as they charge at each other atop specially trained horses, clad in full plate armour and wielding lances, in the stunning grounds of Arundel Castle.

The former tournament winners deemed worthy to contend for individual honour are: Andreas Wenzel of Germany, Andrew Deane of England, Jaroslaw Struczyński (aka Jarek) of Poland, Ivar Mauritz-Hansen of Norway, Mark Caple of England, Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell (aka Pelle) of Norway, Piotr Rydzewski of Poland nd Stacy Van Dolah-Evans of England.

These worthy opponents have spent the winter in gruelling training – they must be in peak physical condition before they return to the saddle and are highly aware that metal armour doesn’t change its shape if the jouster’s physique does! A true test of skill, valour and strength, this sporting tournament set across six days will push each champion to their limit and beyond.

Castle manager Stephen Manion commented: “With only the most experienced and respected jousters in attendance, a visit to Arundel Castle’s International Jousting and Medieval Tournament: Champion of Champions Edition promises nothing less than a true clash of the titans.

“We have arranged a fantastic family day out with plenty of entertainment – as well as the jousting, there will be have-a-go archery, a storyteller and a foot tournament each day in our medieval encampment.”

The reigning individual champion, Stacy Van Dolah-Evans, is one of England’s most skilled jousters. The other competitors will surely seek to vanquish this fearsome contender who has held titles across the globe, including the coveted Queen’s Jubilee Horn and Sword of Honour.

Germany’s most successful jouster, Andreas Wenzel, has won numerous accolades in his professional career. He won the individual championship at Arundel Castle in 2013 after finishing the tournament with the maximum points possible.

With over 30 years of experience, Andrew Deane is a formidable competitor. “To help celebrate the big anniversary of the joust is an enormous honour - I shall bring a strong arm, knowledge and humour to this wonderful event,” says Andrew.

A force from the North, Ivar Mauritz-Hansen attained the glory of gold at Arundel Castle with Team Norway in 2016. Ivar has not just the strength but also the precision of a true champion due to his experience as an Olympic fencer from the tender age of nine.

Jaroslaw Struczyński has been triumphant at several international jousting tournaments – including in Canada and the USA. He is the visionary behind the reconstruction of Gniew Castle in Poland and has been instrumental in introducing jousting tournaments to the country.

A highly respected horseman and jouster, Mark Caple is a familiar face for armour enthusiasts everywhere - he wears the finest known reproduction harness of Gothic armour in the world today.

Mark has known glory at Arundel several times, most notably in 2013 when he celebrated winning the team award with former teammate Stacy Van Dolah-Evans, as well as the Skill-at-Arms trophy on an individual basis.

Per Estein Prøis-Røhjell was a strong combatant for Team Norway in 2016 and has thrice tasted triumph at the Castle.

He said: “I was given a local’s welcome last time, so I am eager to test my power and skill at Arundel yet again!”

Piotr Rydzewski will return hungry to prove his individual prowess following his 2017 victory with Team Poland. Piotr immerses himself in medieval history with music and ancient crafts such as goldsmithing - he may even be heard playing Slavic bagpipes in the castle grounds.

Tickets start at £12 for a child, £25 for an adult and £62 for a family. For more information please visit: www.arundelcastle.org