A Message from the Kingdom Equestrian Officer
Greetings unto the wondrous populace of Æthelmearc,
As the winds of winter blow across the land, the war steeds of Æthelmearc stand with thick-grown coats, tails turned to the weather. They and their riders are waiting for the warmer days of spring and the call to ride to the Tournament. Due to the unique nature of our activity, equestrian tourney activity is limited during the colder seasons. But Æthelmearc’s equestrians are not idle during this time. There are projects to be worked on, tack and equipment to repair, and plans to be laid. We are already planning for next year’s up-coming events.
One of the most important of these is the Kingdom Equestrian Championship. Generally, the championship is held in May or June. The Equestrian champions (King and Queen’s) are chosen once a year, not every reign. This format was decided upon several years ago because of the fact the riding season is limited during half of the year and there are few events in which to hold this championship during the winter months. Because of the additional planning that this championship requires (finding horse appropriate sites, etc.), this championship also has a different procedure than most of the others. The Kingdom Equestrian Championship is not a Kingdom biddable event, but, like all championships, it is chosen and decided upon by the Crown. While the championship itself is run by the current King’s Equestrian Champion, any group can sponsor/host the championship. I encourage groups that are planning events in the late spring/early summer to consider including this activity in your event. It is a pageantry filled activity which truly recreates the atmosphere of the Medieval Tournament.
The procedure requires that any interested groups should submit a proposal to Their Highnesses by the date of Kingdom Twelfth Night. Proposals should include proposed site, sponsoring group, a selection of dates as well as available facilities and whether or not the site has been used for equestrian activities in the past or has been inspected by an equestrian marshal for suitability. The site should have a large enough area to erect a tourney field….about 70 feet by 120 feet at a minimum, 70 x 200 being ideal. The surface, or footing, should be solid and firm…not boggy or prone to damage. There should be ample parking for the trailers, consisting of a firm surface. Stalls are convenient, but not required. A water source is also recommended. An arena is also preferred but not required as equestrian staff can erect my portable arena. Ideal sites include Boy Scout camps, fairgrounds, and parks. Once Their Highnesses have reviewed the proposals and chosen one, they will notify the King’s Equestrian Champion, the KEO, and sponsoring group of their choice, so that planning can commence.
I want to thank the groups who sponsored equestrian activities this past year and those who have contacted equestrian marshals with an interest in hosting equestrian activities in the future. I hope that all the groups will consider submitting a proposal for this important equestrian event for next year.
I remain in Service to this great Kingdom and the equestrians,
Gozen (Mistress Shishido Tora)
Kingdom Equestrian Officer (KEO)