Carosella 2013: The tournament explained

Sunday September 29th is the Tournament portion of Carosella. There will be competitions for every level of participant, and plenty to watch for the general public.  Here’s the low-down.

Grooms’ Competition

Misty & Roland Groom
Neatly braided or rock-star flair, it’s your choice

Open to:

  • Anyone with their own or a leased horse
  • Cavaliere Program members with a minimum of Horsemanship 1

Format:  Teams of two will compete to turn out the best groomed horse in 45 minutes.  The Stables will open at 9am for grooms to start.  Judging commences at 9:45.  Points are awarded on:

  • Grooms’ turnout: safe, tidy and workmanlike
  • Horse turnout: clean, trimmed, and well-groomed (braids optional)
  • Tack: clean and well fitted
  • Speed and efficiency
  • Overall impression

Grooms may prepare their horses the night before by bathing, trimming, cleaning tack and braiding if desired.

Teams & Horses:  Entrants may request preferred teammates and horses (if using school horses).  Horses and teams will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Judges: Richmond Pony Club

Mounted Games

Stick Pegging
Stick Pegging

Open to:

  • Anyone with their own or a leased horse
  • Cavaliere Program members with a minimum of Riding 1
  • Riders who have a minimum equivalent certification, ie, Equine Canada Rider 1, Canadian Pony Club D level, etc.
  • Riders who have been pre-approved by a Cavaliere Program instructor prior to Sep 29th.

Format:  Games are timed.  Errors such as knocking down equipment must be corrected by the rider while the clock runs.  Team games are run in relays, with the clock stopping when the final rider crosses the finish line.


  • Open: Riding Level 3 or above, or own horse
  • Intermediate: Riding Level 2
  • Beginner: Riding Level 1

Teams & Horses: Teams of 2-4 members will be assigned to facilitate shared horses.  School horses will be assigned on a draw basis.  Riders may switch horses between teammates.

Team Games:

K&G spear
Spear & Haybale
  • Two-flag: The race begins with two cones on the field, one with a flag in it.  Rider 1 begins race with a flag in hand, plants the flag in the empty cone, picks up the flag from the other cone and passes it to Rider 2 who repeats the action.
  • Stick-pegging: Two lines of wood blocks are planted in the field.  Each rider must knock down one and only one block from each line as she rides past the lines, circling the cone at the end, and passing the lance to the next rider.
  • Quintain & blocks: Each rider must strike a block from the top of the list with a sword or lance before striking the quintain.

Individual Games:

  • Rings:  Riders must spear all rings from the standards and carry them across the finish line
  • Spear: Riders must plant the spear in a haybale so that it stands up, circle the cone, and retrieve the spear before riding past the finish line.
  • Balloon:  Riders must pop one balloon with the spear on the way to the cone, and one balloon on the way back.

Unmounted Games

Open to: anyone

Format: Relay race versions of the mounted games, as well as speed-shooting archery competition.  Teams are assisgned on a random basis.  Participants may sign up ahead of time or on the day of the tournament.

Green Spur Tournament

Open to: Cavaliere Program members who have achieved the rank of Green Spur or higher

Format:  This is a round robin tournament.  Each match will consist of three 30-second bouts in which participants attempt to score as many valid hits as possible with nylon training longswords. The rider with the most valid hits after three bouts wins the match.

Valid hits: Cuts to the rider only, no thrusts or grappling allowed.  Accidental hits to either horse will be given a warning for the first hit, and elimination on the second.  Deliberate hits to either horse will result in disqualification.

Area of play:  Bouts take place in a 12 x 12 m marked square.  The first bout begins when both riders have entered the square.  For second and third bouts the riders must circle one of the four corner cones and re-enter.  Stepping out of the marked square first results in a warning, followed by a point to the opponent for subsequent infractions.


Mandatory Equipment (some loaners available):

  • Visored hockey helmet or equivalent face and head protection
  • Gorget

Recommended Equipment:

  • Gambeson or similar torso protection
  • Elbow and knee protection
  • Padded gloves or gauntlets

Judges:  each match requires two referees and a timekeeper


There will be prizes in all divisions, including the on-foot and grooms’ competions.  The Carosella Champion Grand Prize will be awarded to the individual with the highest combined score from all the days’ competitions.  The more you enter, the better your chances of winning!

Demos & Free Lessons

Throughout the day there will be demonstrations from our Performance Team and free mini swordfighting lessons.  During the break we will also have a demonstration of high speed skill led by Kathleen Beekman of the BC Mounted Games Association.


The Richmond Pony Club will be running a concession stand with pizza, coffee and snacks to support their educational activities.


A few of our beautiful  Carosella T-shirts will be on sale at the event, but why take the risk?  Order yours ahead of time at the front desk and you’ll be sure to have one in your size.

Jennifer Landels Jennifer Landels heads up Academie Duello's Cavaliere Program. She has been swordfighting since 2008, and riding since before she could walk. She started the program as an excuse to combine those passions.
Read more from Jennifer Landels.