Sunday, July 11, 2010

Surely You Joust

Though jousting is one of the official state sports of Maryland, the Free State was barely mentioned in this story by Dashka Slater in The New York Times Magazine today. Most of the article was devoted to the Gulf Coast International Jousting Championship recently held in Pensacola.

This was not your stand fare Renaissance Festival jousting. This was full contact medieval stuff.

“Their mounts are 2,000-pound draft horses — Percherons, Clydesdales and Belgians. If you add the weight of horse, rider, saddle and armor, you end up with something like 2,500 pounds at either end of the list moving toward each other at about 25 miles per hour. Roy Cox, a pioneer of American jousting, calculates the force of the resulting impact as 50,000 pounds per square inch. “If you want to experience that for yourself,” he says, “put your thumb down on the cement, take a sledgehammer and slam it really hard.”

That makes the official Maryland version of the sport look pretty tame.
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