Two weeks after his very successful debut Graham and Magic were
jousting again, this time near Dorchester, but a combination of
factors, not least the extremely strong wind, caused Magic to
spook, bringing Graham crashing to the ground and causing him
to wonder if the earlier success was perhaps just beginners luck.
They had just four weeks until the big tournament at the Royal
Armouries - the Queen's Golden Jubilee International Joust, so
Graham set about rebuilding Magic's confidence by riding him as
often as possible in armour, working at the quintain, and finally
taking him to Tournament Stud for a practice the week before the
Graham needn't have worried; Magic rewarded his faith with an
excellent performance in a highly charged environment that tests
even some of the most experienced horses and riders. Graham was
very satisfied with their performance, but the competition was
fiercely fought and after three days of jousting the eventual
champion (only dropping one point) was William West.
Above: Graham and Magic in action at the Royal Armouries,
scoring a good shield hit on fellow Destrier member Jason Kingsley,
riding his horse Warlord.
A NEW HELM
Graham had also just taken delivery of a new jousting helmet,
a great bascinet with frog-mouth jousting visor made for him by
Jeffrey Hedgecock in California.
His previous helmet, a salet and bevor, was really designed for
battle, but this one is specifically built for jousting and provides
a far greater level of protection.
With no head movement at all - it is strapped down to the body
- it took a bit of getting used to, but Graham used it to great
effect two weeks before the Royal Armouries by taking victory
at the Bruce Festival in Scotland, riding one of Mark Atkinson's
very experienced horses.