The Winners of Lysts on the Lake 2011

The "Lysts on the Lake 2011" competitive jousting tournament was not just about how well one did in the Joust a'Plaisance. The tournament also included competitions involving Mounted Skill at Arms, a Melee a'Cheval and an Award of Honour for the competitor chosen by the Lady of Honour as the person who best demonstrated the traditional aspects of chivalry. The winners of each competition as well as the overall champion are listed below.

Mounted Skill at Arms

In the Mounted Skill at Arms competition, several different aspects of mounted combat were tested.

Dustin Stephens managed to earn perfect scores in the rings, the cut and thrust, the thrown spear and ground targeting, and he achieved the highest number of rotations on the quintain. With such impressive all around abilities, he obviously deserved to win the Mounted Skill at Arms competition.

Dustin Stephens carries off both cabbages in the Cut and Thrust (photo by Lauren Black)

Melee a'Cheval

The Melee a'Cheval involved 16 mounted combatants all fighting against each other at the same time. The competition depended on each competitor's honor in acknowledging the hits against him/her and withdrawing when he/she had received five SOLID blows.

Video of the Melee a'Cheval by GnonplussedGnome

Dave Wise managed to overcome all other competitors before receiving five solid hits, and therefore he won the competition.

Dave Wise on Ladybug entering the field for the Melee(Photo by Jay Baum)

Joust a'Plaisance

There were 18 competitors who participated in the Joust a'Plaisance, making "Lysts on the Lake 2011" the largest competitive jousting tournament (in terms of number of competitors) in North America to date. Each competitor held the field as Tenan and faced four other competitors who tilted against them as Venans. In each tilting pass, it was possible to win up to four points.

Because some competitors rode as Venans more frequently than others, a simple sum of points scored by each competitor would not have been fair. Therefore the sum of points scored was divided by the number of tilting passes run by each competitor in order to come up with an average overall score representing that competitor's jousting ability.

Matt Daniel on Rock tilts against Andre Ranier on Rilus Maximus (video by TheKnightsHistory)

When all was said and done, Steve Hemphill, with a score of 3.0952, was the competitor who came closest to having the perfect score of four and was therefore the winner of the Joust a'Plaisance.

Steve Hemphill holding up his prize for winning the Joust a'Plaisance (photo by AzulOx)

Award of Honour

During the entire tournament, the Lady of Honour, Dawn Alee Hemphill, watched the competitors and evaluated their behavior according to the traditional virtues of chivalry. She also listened to what the competitors and other participants said regarding each jouster. At the end of the tournament, she had seen and heard of honourable behavior from most, if not all, of the competitors, but there was one jouster who stood out above the rest as the person who most clearly demonstrated the traditional virtues of chivalry. Thus, she chose Dustin Stephens to receive the Award of Honour.

Dustin Stephens on Sampson (photo Dale Walters)

Overall Champion

In order to become the overall Champion of Lysts on the Lake 2011, not only did a competitor have to do well in all of the physical aspects of the tournament, he or she also had to demonstrate honourable behavior throughout the competition. Because of his abilities in all the different aspects of equestrian skill tested during the tournament(winning the Mounted Skill at Arms competition, coming in sixth in the Melee a'Cheval, and earning 2.6667 points in the Joust a'Plaisance), as well as his demonstrations of impeccable honour, Dustin Stephens was determined to be the overall Champion of Lysts on the Lake 2011.

Dustin Stephens on Sampson and L Dale Walter on Brenin cross lances (photo by Jay Baum)

The Prizes

The winners each received a handmade reproduction of a Texas Ranger badge made from an authentic solid silver coin from the late 1800's. The badges were modified to all read "Lysts on the Lake 2011" across the top instead of "Texas Ranger", and the award badge for each division included the name of that division across its bottom. The badge for the overall champion of the tournament simply had "Champion" across the bottom.

Because he won both the Skill at Arms division and the Award of Honour as well as the overall Championship, Dustin Stephens was awarded three badges total.

Three Lysts on the Lake Award badges attached to yellow roses of Texas in Dustin Stephens gauntlet.

Here is what artist Richard Myers has to say about these badges:

Back in the old days badges were not mass produced. Legend has it, that the early American law officer would make his own badge from a silver coin. Usually the Morgan silver dollar or the Mexican 8 Reales. The early Texas Ranger badges were made from the 8 Reales. They were also some times made by blacksmiths and gunsmiths. They were hand made and they were rustic. We follow this tradition to the letter. We make our own stamps just like in the 1800's. Each badge is hand stamped one stamp at a time and made on an oak stump right here in our studio. Each badge is hand cut from a real silver coin. This makes each badge unique with its own character. We try hard to make these replicas look and feel just like it's original counter part.

These badges are a part of Texas history and make an appropriate prize for this Texas tournament.

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