Chivalry might be dead, but jousting isn't. I'm always looking for something new and different to photograph, and based on a Facebook advertisement for Knights of Valour (www.knightsofvalour.ca) I decided to head up to the Mono Fairgrounds near Orangeville and see what "full contact jousting" was like. This team's website is very clear; this isn't a theatrical event like what you might see at Medieval Times – it's an unscripted, combat sport where the human competitors can and do get injured, and the outcome is the result of strength, prowess and perhaps a bit of luck.
The competitors can only score points when they strike a reinforced piece of armour on their opponent's left shoulder about the size of a frying pan. Even when they don't unhorse each other, the competition is dramatic, as competitors score points for breaking their lances against each other – something I was able to capture dramatically.
It was a fun way to spend a Friday evening. There were many broken lances, a couple unhorsings, and plenty of excitement. The troupe's leader, and MC for the evening, Shane Adams, really knows how to work a crowd. The Knights of Valour have a full summer of events; I'll definitely go again next time I have a chance.