Historical Reenactment

imagePromotional flyer for the Great Tournament of Chivalry at the Château de Sainte Croix Grand Tonne.

In July 2023, I have been invited to return to the Château de Sainte Croix Grand Tonne, a 14th-century chateau in the basse-Normandie region of France, and represent the United States in the Grand Tournament. The French tenons will be Xavier de Gonneville (Xavier Fauvel), Perceval de Galles (Jean-Pierre Duprat), Phillipe de Sainte-Sauveur (Phillipe Van Den Broeck), Hervé du Portuais (Hervé Badouard), and Jérôme de Marylou (Jérôme Goldyn).

The following text has been taken from the promotional poster:

Grand Tournoi de Chevalerie

au Château du XIVe siècle

de Sainte Croix Grand Tonne

entre Caen et Bayeux

22 - 23 Jullet France / Amérique "LA REVANCHE"

Pour la deuxième fois de l'Histoire, 1 Amérique va affronter la chevalerie Française.

Le Champion US Lonnie Colson

Vainqueur du Grand Tournoi 2022 du Chateau des Chevaliers "remet " son trophée en jeu !.

Le champion Français Xavier Fauvel de Gonneville attend sa "Revanche".


[ Translation: Great Tournament of Chivalry at the Castle from the 14th-century in Sainte Croix Grand Tonne between Caen and Bayeux, 22-23 July, France vs. America "THE REVENGE".

For the second time in history, one American will face French chivalry. The US Champion, Lonnie Colson, Winner of the Grand Tournament 2022 of the Knights Castle, "puts his trophy back on the line!. The French champion, Xavier Fauvel de Gonneville, awaits his "Revenge".]


Jeux à Cheval 

The Jeux à Cheval, or "games on horse", is a competition between pairs of riders, each racing around the tiltyard in an effort to be the first to complete a series of feats such as cutting cabbages with a sword, spearing rings and catching thrown rings with a lance, and picking up a lady's scarf from the group with a javelin. The first to complete the course will be awarded additional points for speed.

Archerie à Cheval / Course de Bourse

Between the Jeux à Cheval and Joute, there will be two additional challenges: Archerie à Cheval, or mounted archer, and the Course de Bourse, or the Purse Race. In the first, each competitor will attempt to kill a (simulated) boar using a bow and arrow from atop a cantering horse. The second challenge will take place between pairs of riders. A money bag will be placed atop the center pole on the tilt rail. Each rider will race down his lane in an attempt to be the first to reach the money bag and snatch it from the post before his competitor can do the same.


The Joute, or "joust", is the form of jousting most recognized by a modern audience. At the château, competitors will be separated on the field only by rope barriers and the lances were made of balsa and tipped with rubber coronels. Last year, each match consisted of a single pass between each set of riders with a maximum of 4 points attainable. One (1) point was awarded for simply striking the opponent in the target area (between neck and waist); or, two (2) points if the tip of the lance was broken; or, three (3) points for a strike to the shield that broke the tip. An additional point was awarded by the King of Arms for breaking off more than half of the lance tip. 

The Event

The Tournoi de Sainte Croix Grand Tonne is broken into four (4) matches over three days: Friday evening, Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening, and Sunday afternoon. Each knight will take part in three (3) of the four sets of jousts for a total of fifteen (15) passes. Each knight will also take part in three of the four sets of games, but only their highest two scores were kept by the judges for ranking.


Armoured Jousting
It has been a childhood dream of mine to compete in a historical jousting tournament. I was finally given the opportunity to break my first lance at Lysts on the Lake 2019.
Learn More About Jousting
Mounted Skills at Arms
Hunting was considered better training for war than jousting. The skill-at-arms competition is a way to demonstrate those abilities.
Learn More About the Skill at Arms
Fighting in Armour on Foot
Harnischfechten is the German term for fighting in armour on foot.
Learn More About Fighting in Armour
Traditional Hunting
For a member of the knightly class in the fifteenth century, hunting was far more than a simple hobby or pleasurable pastime--it was the very essence of life.
Learn More About Traditional Hunting
Art of Maille-Making
Making maille, or chainmail, is like crocheting. But for men. And with steel.
Learn More About Maille-making