The Mounted Skill at Arms competition tested the riders' skill on horseback in a number of different challenges.
The quintain is a rotating jousting target used in the Middle Ages by knights training to use a lance. In this competition, each rider cantered past the quintain and attempted to strike the target with their lance. Each complete revolution of the quintain scored 1 point. An additional point was awarded if the lance tip broke on the target.
Dustin Stephens did far better than anyone else at the quintain, succeeding in making the quintain spin a complete 5 revolutions though he did not break his lance tip. The most any other competitor managed was 2 complete revolutions.
Tilting at Rings:
Three ring stands were placed in a straight line, 21' apart from one another with a single ring (apx 3" in diameter) suspended from each one. The riders cantered past each ring stand and attempted to catch and carry each ring on the tip of the spear. 2 points were awarded for catching a ring and carrying it away on the lance or 1 point was awarded for knocking the ring off the stand. Maximum points: 6
Dustin Stephens, Bobbie Patterson, Kelly Hicks, Scott Wilson and Steve Martel all scored a perfect 6 on the rings.
The Cut and Thrust:
Two 5' tall stands were placed 21 apart with a single cabbage atop each stand. The riders cantered past the targets and used their swords to cut at or thrust through each of the cabbages. For cutting, 2 points were awarded for a strike which cleanly cut completely through the cabbage or 1 point for a strike that hit but did not cut through. For thrusting, 3 points were awarded for a thrust that fully penetrated the cabbage which the rider was then able to carry away on the sword or 2 points for a thrust that only penetrated the cabbage. Maximum points: 6
Unfortunately, due to the skill of early competitors and a lack of replacement cabbages, later competitors had to make do with halves and bits of cabbages for their targets. Eventually, the ground crew got creative and started taping the cabbages back together when the bits were just too small to use at all.
Dustin Stephens was the only competitor who successfully skewered and carried off both cabbages. He was a later competitor and was heard to humbly state that since he was aiming at taped together cabbages, he probably had it easier than some of the earlier competitors.
The rider cantered past the target and threw a spear at a circular target placed on a bale of hay. A spear sticking in the center of the ring scores 3 points; between the inner and outer rings scores 2 points; outside the outer ring but still on the hay bale scores 1 point. Maximum points: 3.
Dustin Stephens, Bobbie Patterson, Steve Martel, Sean Gullick and Heather Perillo all scored the maximum 3 points in the Thrown Spear competition.
Ground Target (Tent Pegging/Pig Sticking):
The riders cantered past a small target on the ground. Each rider attempted to thrust into and carry off the target on the tip of their spear. One point was awarded for striking the target and a second point for carrying it away on the point of the spear. Maximum points: 2.
Thirteen out of the twenty competitors were able to stab and carry away the target earning the maximum 2 points.
Winners of the Mounted Skill at Arms competition:
Kelly Hicks earned third place in the MSA competition with 15 points. Bobbie Patterson came in second with a total of 16 points. However, Dustin Stephens spun the quintain five complete turns, carried away all three rings, skewered and carried off both cabbages in the Cut and Thrust section, hit a bullseye in the Thrown Spear section and successfully stabbed and lifted the Ground Target. His incredible ability in all aspects of the Mounted Skill at Arms earned him first place with an incredible total of 22 points.