WTS Summer Joust: [link]
Round 1: [link]
Stable Name: Flying Feather Stables
Rider's Name: Richard Leos
Horse's Name: FFS Crusade of Charlemagne
Link to Height Chart: [link]
Opponent: Lord Aulay C. F. riding Phantom of the Knight [link]
Richard had groused about the armor for weeks leading up to the tournament. He had petitioned the show runners to allow custom armor, and they had graciously allowed approved armor for the second year of the annual tournament. Richard even had two pairs of custom armor to choose from; unfortunately, the tournament required jousters to use a strike plate incorporated into the armor rather than a shield, and all of his armor relied on separate shields. The only set of armor he owned that DID have a strike plate was the armor from the same tournament last year. He begged Robin to let him buy a new set or alter one of his custom sets to include a strike plate, but the answer was no. It wasn't in the budget.
So despite being the one to request the ability to bring custom armor, Richard found himself back at WTS with his set from last year repainted in his Sherwood colors. He thought the colors looked rather nice- his red horse with black barding certainly matched well with his first opponent who was a white horse with red barding.
The morning of the first round was thick with fog and thunderclouds. The track was wet, but thankfully the downpour had paused for at least the moment. Charlie was no stranger to mud, though it made him work harder to charge down the lanes.
On the first run, Richard could tell something was wrong half a stride after they took off. The lance was misbalanced, or perhaps his grip on it was simply weak, or maybe it was something about the choppy ride in the mud. The first thought that flashed through his mind as the lance hit the ground was that he shouldn't blame the armor, even if he didn't like it. He couldn't prove it was the armor's fault.
The second thought that flashed through his mind was that the lance had hit the ground about six inches ahead of Charlie's feet.
Charlie, being well versed in the unexpected and trained relentlessly again the urge to panic, did his training proud. He did not panic when the lance hit the ground with a wet plopping noise or flung mud in his face. He didn't even panic when he wasn't able to avoid the lance and tripped headlong into the mud, going down on his knees and sliding. However, when the mud covered his protective eye covers and left him blind with the lance tangled in his front legs and momentum still carrying him forward, it was one stressor too many. He trashed and lurched until his legs were free and bolted down the track, forgetting Richard in the mud behind him.
Ultimately Richard walked away with a scratch on his leg and Charlie was fine aside from his moment of terror. Richard's injury could have been much worse, but the plate mail did its job. As much as he disliked the design of the armor, he supposed he had to give it some grudging respect.