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I first saw SCA Equestrian activities at Panteria IV, in the shire of Panther Vale. Panteria is held on Memorial Day weekend, near the end of May, in Vermont. I'd decided to go up there by myself, when I saw a notice on the East Kingdom mailing list that heralds were needed for an event called an emprise. An emprise is a sort of formalized mounted tournament, and heralds are needed to introduce the riders and make challenges for them to other riders. I knew that a household in my shire was putting together a lance, or team, and asked if they needed a herald. They not only took me up on my offer, but very kindly invited me to camp with them. I had a fabulous time at the event, was in awe of the equestrians, and best of all, was asked to join Duchy Tarragon before the weekend ended!

The following year was not as kind in the weather department, but was just as much fun. The head of our household, Duke Brion, won King's Champion of Horse, and my wonderful household sister, Lady Eleanor, became Queen's Champion. The competition was a blast to watch, and I came away wishing harder than ever that I could ride, too.

Comes this past fall (2000), I discover that equestrian practice is open to new riders. I hadn't ridden for years, not since giving up my pony Gingersnap when I ouutgrew him. Come to find out, I had a lot to relearn. I miss that little guy every time I get up on a horse. I've been working my ass off, trying to regain and build my skills enough to compete at the level of my friends... I have a long way to go. I take lessons at Quick Farm, in Westborough, Massachusetts. While I'm qualified as an advanced rider, I still feel that I need to work hard on my skills at the trot. I take a few turns around the ring at a canter every lesson, but I'm mostly trying to learn to steer the horse with my body and legs at the trot, and to post on the correct diagonal. All these years, I had it wrong...

I competed in the East Kingdom Equestrian Championships at Panteria this year. The weather was iffy, but riding in the Championships was a dream come true. Through a real series of weirdnesses, the horse I was planning on riding didn't make it, but it was then that I learned how wonderful the equestrian community is in this kingdom -- I was still able to ride. I sure didn't win, but damn, I had fun trying.

Click on the links below for pictures and information about Equestrian Activities in the SCA. Links will open in a new window.

East Kingdom Equestrian Site
A Primer on Equestrian Games
SCA Equestrian Site
East Kingdom Equestrians at Gulf Wars X

Report on Panteria VI, by Baron Tibor of Rock Valley
Panteria VI Photos, Gallery 1
Panteria VI Photos, Gallery 2
The Steeds of Duchy Tarragon