What a day for Knightly Games!

We couldn’t have ordered nicer weather for our annual Cavaliere Tournament … or asked for a better group of riders and volunteers!


We had four teams of grooms out bright and early to make the horses beautiful, and once more our volunteer judges from Richmond Pony Club lent their critical eyes to check horses and grooms for turnout and correct tacking up. First place went to the team of Crystal Chung and Robert Borsos with Flavie.

I can honestly say the judges weren’t swayed by feathers, bells & bows, but the rest of us appreciated the decorative efforts of all the grooms!

After the horses were warmed up we began the team competitions.  We had two and three person teams in the Open Intermediate and Beginners divisions, competing in 2-Flag, Stick-pegging, and Block & Quintain.  Robert Borsos & Kate Landels on Chicco & Gracie took first in the Open Division, Kat Liffiton & Michael Molnar on Princess & Jack won the Intermediate Division, and Misty Saunby & Roland Cooper on Princess & Jack conquered the Beginner Division.

Quintain Flag_1 Flag_2 Waiting

After a well-deserved lunch break for humans and horses we ran the unmounted races.  Teams of three humans-sans-horses ran the same races as the mounted teams.  It came down to a tie-breaker, but the team of Roland Cooper, Kate Landels & Chris Richardson were fleetest of foot in the end.  Amusing irony of the day:  Kate is actually better at placing flags in cones from the back of a pony than she is on foot.

On to the demo portion of the day.  We had four candidates demonstrating their cutting, ring-spearing, and lance skills for their blue spur checklists, and Kirsten and gave the first ever (we believe) demonstration of a Prix Fiore pas-de-deux.

Similar to a Prix Caprilli, which is a dressage pattern with jumps, Prix Fiore is a dressage pattern with done with swords — and in this case bending poles and jumps for good measure! The drill consisted of various mounted guards from the Fiore tradition,


trot and canter circles, passes with swords meeting,


weaving between bending poles, and best of all, a charge down the centre line followed by a jump across the arena to a halt at the audience’s fence line.


(Of course if it were an actual dressage test, we would have lost marks for horses being above the bit, and generally excitable — but hey, how often do you get to gallop in a dressage test anyway?)

In the afternoon it was back to games, this time with Individual races of Rings, Spear & Bale, and Litter. Kirsten Call on Mystery won the Open division, Kat Liffiton on Princess took the Intermediate Division, and Misty Saunby won Beginners.

Stick_pegging_1 Stick_pegging_2 Stick_pegging_4 Stick_pegging_3

Our overall High Point for the day was awarded to the rider with the most points in all categories: Grooms, Teams, Unmounted & Individual.  Our High Point Champion of the day was Kirsten Call, who beat out Reserve Champion Kate Landels by the narrowest of margins.

Thank you to all the competitors who showed marvellous teamwork, sportsmanship and horsemanship throughout the day.  And an especially HUGE thank-you to the volunteers who kept things running: our entry secretary Courtney; our timers Laura and Sophia; Sandra, Carey, Theresa & Chanell our Pony Club mums and members who helped run the concession and tack sale; Pony Club judges Robyn, Camryn, Isabel, Eleanor and Kate; and everyone who stepped in to help reset equipment.  We could not have done it without you!

o o o

October at Red Colt

The tournament may be over but there’s still plenty happening at the stables.

Intro to Mounted Combat & Mounted Combat Workshop

This Sunday is our 2nd last Intro and Mounted Combat workshop for the year (and possibly the last with nice weather).  Now’s a great time to get into the program and start working towards next year’s tournament!

Intro to Mounted Combat
Sunday October 7, 10am – 4pm
Cost: $149

Mounted Combat Workshop
Sunday October 7, 1pm – 4pm
Cost: $60


Raise the Roof!

We are ready to start putting roofing onto our marvellous new shedrow, and will need the help of several people (and a couple of extra ladders if anyone has the means to transport them) on Thanksgiving Monday.  For those of you not fond of heights, we will also be cleaning out stalls to prepare the barn for … I don’t even want to think about it yet … winter!

Monday October 8, 10am – 4pm
Pizza, snacks & beverages provided.


Open Barn

With mounted games practices over for the year, Open Barn is returning.  This is your chance to come out and practice your riding, horsemanship, or sword skills in a relaxed, supportive environment.

Sunday 14 October, 1pm – 4pm
cost: $10 for use of horse; free if using own or leased horse.


Cavaliere Integrated Classes
(formerly Riding & Horsemanship)

We are still running the same curriculum for Riding & Horsemanship, but have added bonus sword drills near the end of each session — currently at no extra cost!  This is an excellent chance to keep your Mounted Combat skills fresh between monthly Mounted Combat workshops.

Cavaliere Classes
Sundays October 21 & 28, 1pm – 4:30pm
Cost: $60

Integrated Package
Take our Mounted Combat and two Cavaliere Classes in one month for the cost of $120 — two classes for the price of three!

devonboorman Devon Boorman is the Co-Founder and Director of Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay, which has been active in Vancouver, Canada since 2004. Devon’s expertise centres on the Italian swordplay tradition including the arts of the Renaissance Italian rapier, sidesword, and longsword, as well as knife and unarmed techniques.
Read more from Devon Boorman.