International jousting competition has strong Ramona connection

Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

The fifth annual Tournament of the Phoenix, an international jousting competition and festival of history that is organized by two Ramona residents, will be held Oct. 21-23 at the Poway Rodeo Grounds.

More activities, vendors and food have been added to this year’s event, say the organizers.

Discounted family and individual advance tickets must be purchased by Oct. 15. Tickets may also be purchased at the gate.

Produced by WorldJoust Tournaments, Tournament of the Phoenix draws competitors from around the world. Outfitted as knights, they compete in jousting sessions, foot combat with pollaxes, and in the club tourney.

Also at the event is the Festival of History, which will feature period camps ranging from Rome to the Renaissance, and costumed interpreters who will bring history to life.

Programs range from storytelling and talks on topics from warfare and chivalry to weaving cloth and making soap. Spinning, embroidery, archery, sword practice, singing, dancing, games and pottery making will also highlight the festival.

Visitors can see a blacksmith forge hot metal, an archer making arrows for an army, and a sword master instructing on the art of the sword at this 15th century tournament and festival.

Ramonans Jeffrey Hedgecock and Gwen Nowrick own and operate Historic Enterprises, Inc., the parent company of WorldJoust Tournaments. This is the fifth year for their Tournament of the Phoenix, which derived its name from the October 2007 Witch Creek fire.The fire roared through the area just a week before the first tournament was scheduled.

With many evacuated from Ramona, adjustments were made and the event was held as planned with English competitor Dominic Sewell saying, “We thought the fires would defeat us, but instead we have risen, Phoenix like, from the flames.”

And so, the tournament got its name.

The WorldJoust Tournament is sanctioned by the Royal Armouries of England and affiliated with the International Jousting League.

Hedgecock not only produces armour for clients around the world, but also competes. He began jousting in 2003 and is a founding member of the international jousting team, the “Order of the Crescent,” and his Southern California team, the “Knight of the Golden Sun.”

Nowrick, a costume historian, designs and produces Historic Enterprises’ clothing line.

Much of the equipment used in WorldJoust Tournaments, including lances, shields, saddles and armour, is also crafted by Historic Enterprises.

More information about the tournament and ticket prices is available at www.worldjoust.com under Tournament of the Phoenix.

   
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