Lances, bones break for medieval fun

BEN STANLEY
Last updated 05:00 22/01/2011
KNIGHT LIFE: Victoria Subritzky, left,and Sasha Buchmann cross lances during a practice joust at the fifth annual Taupo Joust yesterday.
CHRIS HILLOCK/Waikato Times

KNIGHT LIFE: Victoria Subritzky, left,and Sasha Buchmann cross lances during a practice joust at the fifth annual Taupo Joust yesterday.

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Most days Callum Forbes is a mild-mannered financial planner.

But put him in a suit of armour, hand him a lance and that all changes.

The Upper Hutt man becomes a warrior, a jouster, and he's proud of it.

"Jousters were like the Super 14 players, or the All Blacks of their day," he said. "People followed teams of knights like we follow rugby teams.

"It was huge."

Mr Forbes joined hundreds of medieval re-enactors who have camped out at Taupo's Spa Park this weekend for the sixth annual Taupo Joust. The jouster, who broke his right hand two weeks ago in a "sword fight", has been involved with jousting for more than 30 years, and is the man credited by many in medieval re-enactment circles as the founder of the sport in New Zealand.

Mr Forbes said he was there for the jousting, not for the lifestyle aspect of medieval re-enactment.

"I don't go down there at night, or give myself a name like Sir so-and-so and get involved in that stuff," the leader of Wellington jousting club The Order of the Boar said.

"Jousting combines two things I really like – equestrian and martial arts. It's a real sport."

As well as the jousting, archery and re-enactments of famous battles will take place over the weekend. There is also a tent village set up to give visitors a taste of medieval life.

Hamilton's Keith Mudgway, who packages plastic bottles for a living, was decked out in a traditional medieval English farmer's outfit and had a massive smile on his face.

"It doesn't get much better," he said.

"It's all in good fun here. You can walk around, pick up a sword, hit your friend, die, get up again ... great stuff."

The Taupo Joust will run from 10am to 5pm today and tomorrow at Taupo's Spa Park. Entry is $12 for adults, $8 for children.

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