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Jousting Tournament and Horse Show
August 2 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
“Charge, sir knight, charge!” Knights and maidens will once again seize their lances, mount their steeds and compete at a good ‘ole fashioned joust’ on Wednesday, August 2 at the annual Old St. Joseph’s Jousting Tournament and Horse Show in Cordova. A long-standing tradition in Cordova, jousters from around the region have been preparing for this annual competition.
The Horse Show kicks off the day at 9 a.m. and features 11 classes. There is a fee of $5 for each participant. A Southern dinner begins at 11:30 a.m. For many, this meal prepared by the Ladies of the Parish is the real draw. Enjoy country ham, barbecued chicken, potato salad, green beans, pickled beets, sliced tomatoes, applesauce, pickles, Maryland biscuits and rolls. Cost is $15 per adult and $7 per child.
Jousting begins at 1:15 p.m. Settle in along the track, tailgate style, for four classes: Professional, Semi-Professional, Amateur and Novice. Maidens and Knights charge the 100-yard course on the back of their steeds. The competitors gallop, trot or walk down the course, a fine-tipped lance in their grasp, and attempt to spear rings from three equally spaced arches – all under a certain time. At each pass there are three rings that get smaller and smaller until they are barely large enough to fit around the lance (imagine a Life Savers® candy). The rider who spears the most rings after three attempts is declared the winner. The winners of each class are recognized at the end of the Tournament.
Jousting has a long history in the state. Jousting was first introduced in Maryland by the First Lord Baltimore, Cecil Calvert in 1632. The front of the Great Seal of Maryland shows him wearing his armor mounted on his charger. Jousting has been Maryland’s State Sport since 1962 and the St. Joe’s Joust has been hosting jousting tournaments since the 1870s, except for a brief hiatus due to war.
During the St. Joe’s Joust, cars and trucks line the course in tailgate fashion with families enjoying the day’s festivities. Bring a chair if you prefer. Chairs and tables are provided at the supper tent. The event is a wonderful way to experience jousting and meet new friends. And keep your ears open to hear the official jousting call, “Charge, sir knight, charge!
Don’t miss the great raffle: 1st Prize: Homemade Quilt, 2nd Prize: Wooden Rocking Horse, 3rd Prize: $200, 4th Prize: $100. This is a rain or shine event. Admission is just $1 per car. For information, call Mike Boyle at 410-822-6915.
From the Attraction archives. In this undated photograph, Knight Harry T. Slaughter salutes the Maiden Lillian McGinney.
Eastern Shore Jousting Association Area Competitions
Classes consist of Leadline, Novice, Amateur, Semi-Pro and Professional. Open to the public.
August 2 – Old St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 13209 Church Lane, Cordova. 1 p.m. $1 per person gate admission. For more information, call Diane Sherwood at 410-364-5172.
August 5 – Caroline County Fair, Caroline County 4-H Park, 8230 Detour Road, Denton. Noon. $1 per person gate admission. For more information, call Buddy Wooters at 410-829-8736.
August 13 – Queen Anne County Joust, Tuckahoe Equestrian Center at Tuckahoe State Park, 619 Crouse Mill Road, Queen Anne. 4 p.m. Free. For more information, call Diane Sherwood at 410-364-5172.
September 3 – Caroline County Joust, Caroline County 4-H Park, 8230 Detour Road, Denton. Noon. Free. For more information, call Joanne Wooters at 410-479-0565.
September 17 – Ridgely Joust, Martin Sutton Memorial Park, 302 West 4th Street, Ridgely. 1 p.m. Free. For more information, call Dorsey Wooters at 410-479-0565.
September 24 – Pre-Championship Joust, Tuckahoe Equestrian Center at Tuckahoe State Park, 619 Crouse Mill Road, Queen Anne. 10 a.m. Free. For more information, call Diane Sherwood at 410-364-5172.
September 24 – Championship Joust, Tuckahoe Equestrian Center at Tuckahoe State Park, 619 Crouse Mill Road, Queen Anne. Noon. Free. For more information, call Diane Sherwood at 410-364-5172.
October 7 – Maryland State Jousting Championship, Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, 1450 Generals Highway, Crownsville. 10 a.m. Free. For more information, call Ron Vogel at 240-285-5810. Rain date: October 8.
October 14 – 50th National Jousting Championship, Petersville Farmers Woods, 3816 Petersville Road, Petersville. 10 a.m. Free. For more information, call Buck Schuyler at 410-482-2176. Rain date: October 21.