Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

UH Coursers and Quivers

Unser Hafen, the SCA barony to which we belong, held their Archery and Equestrian championship tournament at our place this last weekend. The archery tournament took place in the morning. I saw a bit of it, Dave and Phyl watched a bit of it. (And then a whole bunch of other things happened to drag us away from it) They shot from several different distances at targets. These happened to be setup down-hill, as there really isn't much flat land on our place, and the archers were having a challenge to not overshoot the targets altogether.

At the end they did a big 'volley' shot at a flag way far down in the pature - scoring by who got closest. That was pretty cool.

(note the arrows still stuck in the ground)

We quit for lunch and retreated to the house because I certainly was in the mood for a little distance away from the chaos taking place. And it was good. But short, as it was rapidly approaching 1:00 which was to be the start of the Equestrian tournament. Got suited up in good time. *SQUEE*! We got many compliments on his blanket!

(yes, this is a repeat picture from the last post, but it's good enough to be posted twice. ;-D)

This next picture wasn't very good of Dave and I, but was spectacular of Jordan. Once again he was sporting the results of some camp-show-day bling. Amanda had done a really nice job of banding his mane. We took out the blue ribbons, but it still looked very impressive.

I was surprised that this year they didn't do the big parade, but rather introduced each rider individually. Since I never was able to make up a story about me and my persona that was pretty anti climatic for us. *shrugs* There is always next time.

Though Llameri and her arab sure made a splash. He was quite spirited (or as she put it, having an 'Arab' day) and jumping all over the place. Llameri is an amazing rider and did most of the tasks without stirrups at all.

Cecelia was last year's champion, and thus is this years (exiting) Equestrian Warden. She was in charge of the Equestrian tournament and did most of the announcing to boot.

The first challenge was a combination of 3 tasks -- only 2 of which we'd ever tried before! The birjas was first: you had to take a 4 foot rod, toss it through a 12" hoop, and CATCH it on the other side. LOL! I thought it would be impossible. This is the one we'd never tried before -- but Jordan and I did it! Only about half the people managed to do it so that felt really great.

Lady Anne -- good shot of the birjas ring itself.

Titus's shot ricocheted off the ring and dropped quickly.

And us -- can't see much except that with our height it really was a pretty good challenge just to get down to the level of the ring.

Immediately after attempting the Bijon we rode down to the end of the arena and picked up a pig-sticking spear, with which to try and spear the foam rabbit.

Morgan has an incredible costume.

I'm cracking up here because I still didn't have enough momentum to just swing that rabbit up. So I was struggling with it and in fact had to use both hands to get it upright.

And then finally you handed off your rabbit for a quintain lance. We'd done well in the warmup, so I opted for the big lance again. Our hit was medocre. The wind was playing havoc with the quintain. But I was still very pleased with our whole run, it was a lot of fun.

But check out the size of that lance! Jordan ain't no small horse and it's eaily 1.5 times as long as he is. We'd never tried using this lance before the warmup that day.

Nesta was the principle organizer for the event. She rides Rossalin's horse, Wagner, and looked great doing it.

After everyone went through that series of challenges, then we switched to Heads, which we did in pairs. Yes - other wise known as Head to Head Heads. We had to weave down, chopping off heads, then circle the end cone and get back to the start before your opponent. Well, we had a pretty bad start, and got off on the weaving such that we were nearly running over the pole in every weave. Grrr. But still weren't too far behind Nesta when we got done.

Yes, Wagner beat us back in this race.

In fact, Wagner won this race for the finish too. :-) Rossalin was laughing, saying the event had unleashed the latent race horse in him.

After the heads we set up to be able to run rings, also in pairs. That would have been fun to try, but the weather was continuing to roll in. It spit a little bit of rain, but really it was the wind that was threatening to turn the giant viking tents into giant viking kites over the heads of the horses that really made us decide to quit early. That was fine - everyone was tired and ready to pack up.

After putting the horses back in their stalls, and all the equipment away in the trucks, they moved the baron and baroness's thrones inside the barn and we held court in there. It worked great. They awarded prizes to a number of different people for different achievements. The outgoing wardens were awarded with amazingly beautiful hand drawn scrolls, as were this year's new incoming wardens. Their reward for winning the championship is to head up the training and practice of their respective diciplines for the next year, and to plan the next year's event. WhooWhee -- that's a full plate, for winning a tournament!

Unfortunately our camera started acting weird part way through the afternoon and the pictures were coming out cloudy. I'm sad for this because I think I'm the only one who asked for a picture of the two incoming wardens... Bugger.

Lord Colbain and Mistress Rossalin

Once court was over and the rest of the equipment loaded and trucked off, it was time to shower, eat and run off to the airport. Ah, but that trip will have to be another post - some exciting news there too.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Monica,

I love the pictures and it looks like so much fun. I remember, years ago when I went to summer camp (like I said..years..) doing archery and I just loved it.

There is so much to do and everything looks so planned and detailed, they take this very seriously. But it does look wonderful.

I love the Arab horse, he looks so lively and you can tell that the horses are enjoying themselves as well. How long has the completion been going on now? Do people travel great distances to come and do this?

Thanks for letting us look in on this!!!


8/6/08, 6:11 PM  
Blogger Monica at Sun Pony said...

Hi Terry!

Oh I had no idea how serious they took their study of the medieval ages before getting involved. It really is based as much in education as it is entertainment.

Unser Hafen is a large barrony - I think I learned last night that beyond northern colorado, it actually extends to Nebraska, Wyoming and Kansas. Holy crap! The bulk of the people, though, I think are from the Berthoud - Loveland - Ft. Collins area.

Yes, the horses do really get into it. I think Jordan is just excited to be doing something new again, after years of the lesson routine that goes on here.

8/7/08, 7:53 AM  
Blogger Uli said...

Great pics - and wonderful costumes!!!

The three of you looked great!!

And I liked the "horse-costume" made out of white bands, ribbons, whatever you call it... That was beautiful, too!

Good to see that you were also happy with yours and Jordan's achievements during the tournament!

8/10/08, 4:16 AM  

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