By Mitchell Clarke
Lardner Park has been transformed into a medieval battleground where the world’s best jousters will descend to the field.
The World Jousting Championship will bring about 8000 people to the Gippsland area this weekend to watch one of the most high-risk sports on the planet.
Knights from Australia, Netherlands, Norway, France, Canada and Russia will go head-to-head fighting for the coveted title of world champion.
Pakenham Gazette was invited to Lardner Park for a pre-event jousting display however due to a muddy ground, the demonstration was cancelled to protect the field for the real thing.
“I believe looking at the weather forecast and praying to the weather gods, we will be fine to run on the weekend,” event organiser Andrew McKinnon said.
“Today’s decision to cancel was more about saving the ground for the weekend, we just want to make sure it’s in pristine condition for the tournament.
“We do have an alternative arena in the same venue which we can use to train on so we can save the beautiful arena area for this weekend.”
Mr McKinnon believes the growing popularity of the sport could be linked to shows like Game of Thrones.
“It combines two fantastic things which is beauty and violence and I think you can’t really beat that with an event,” he said.
“There’s something evocative and escapist about the whole thing.”
Jousting involves competitors galloping towards each other to strike one another from the bottom of the shield to the top of the helmet in order to smash their lances.
Competitors wear real medieval armour and the horses are highly trained war mounts.
Organisers claim that the event will have something for everyone including a historical medieval village, majestic birds of prey, a firing trebuchet and a Shakespearean tavern.
The event runs this Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June at Lardner Park in Warragul.
Tickets can be purchased at https://www.worldjoustingchampionship.com.au/.