Competitors for 2013

This year all competitors will participate individually. The competition will feature modern day Knights from 4 countries.


Jeremy "Jezz" Smith - NZ, Order of the Black Rose

Residence: New Zealand / Nationality: English

Began Jousting in 2004

Day job - Stone sculptor

Motto: 'Firmitas et Fortudo' (Strength and Courage)

Jeremy (Jezz) Smith was born in England but emigrated to NZ in 1988. He started jousting in 2004 when he became bored with the conventional horse sports he had been involved in. In 2005, he helped establish 'The Company of the Lance', to bring jousting to Auckland. Since then he has traveled to many countries to compete including Australia, Belgium, Poland, France and the US.

Jezz is a member of 'The Order of the Black Rose", along with team mates Graham Nixon and Simon Tennant. The Order of the Black Rose was formed in 2006 as a NZ team to compete against an Australian team at a tournament held in Lithgow, Australia. Jezz is proud to display the black rose badge as an achievement on his shield.

Jezz has been involved in a number of high-risk sports including motorcycle racing, sled dog racing and endurance riding, as well as archery, black powder shooting, hunting and fishing. Joust training and armour making currently consume his spare time.

Wouter Nicolai - Netherlands

Residence: Leiden, Netherlands / Nationality: Dutch

Began Jousting in 2006

Day job -  Owner of 'de vrije lansier', medieval saddles & horse equipment. Professional jouster for Foundation HEI and for the Archeon Museum Park.

Motto: 'Hope Gheeft Kracht' (Hope gives strength)

As a member of Stichting HEI, the premier Dutch display team for medieval mounted soldiery, Wouter is one of the Netherlands’ top historical jousters and a highly active international competitor. In 2012 he performed in England, Denmark and at the famous Grand Tournament of Sankt Wendel, Germany. Some tournaments where Wouter competed this year are: the Royal Armouries easter tournament, the white bear tournament of Nyborg and the Arundel International Tournament.

His occupation as a professional jouster and historical interpreter at the well-known Archeon Museum Park enables him to constantly hone his skills with horse, lance and sword. Wouter is also active in researching and reconstructing historical horse equipment, such as medieval and roman saddles and is very keen to keep improving his own skill as a horseman.

Jan Gradón - Poland

Residence: Warsaw, Poland / Nationality: Polish

Began Jousting in 2007

Day job -  Filtration company production plant manager

Motto: 'Amor vincit omnia' (Love conquers all)

Jan has always been interested in medieval history, and over the years his childhood interest turned into an adult passion. He started participating in re-enactment in 1996 and since then has gotten deeply involved. In 2005 he joined Xiazeca Druzyna, the biggest horse re-enactment and historical show group in Poland. With the group he has portrayed many periods – Rus warrior, 11C Norman knight, 13C crusader, early 15C knight of the battle of Tannenberg, late 15C knight, 17C cavalry to the Napoleonic period as ulhan of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. Jan's interests also include horse archery and classical riding, and since 2008 he has worked as a riding instructor. He has participated in many events in England, Italy, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Belgium and of course Poland.

Jan lives in the Warsaw suburbs together with wife Ula (who is also involved in re-enactment community, one year old daughter Marysia, and border collie Gibon.

Jaroslav "Jarek" Struczinski- Poland

Residence: Gniew, Poland / Nationality: Polish

Began Jousting in 2006

Day job -  Member of the Board: Gniew Castle Foundation

Motto: 'Deo omnis Gloria' (All glory to God)

Having instigated the reconstruction and regeneration of Gniew Castle in 1992 Jarek has led to its transformation into one of Poland's leading centres for historical re-enactment and the cultivation of past traditions. He has devised and organized numerous international military/historical events and is founder of several re-enactment groups showcasing periods from the 15th to the 17th century.

He is co-organizer of the largest re-enactment event in Poland (The Battle of Tannenberg 1410) and is co-founder and Marshall of the Chapter General of Polish Knights. Jarek has been instrumental in setting up jousting tournaments in Poland and is a founder member of the Gregorian choir Schola Cantorum Gymevensis. He has participated in many productions for theatre and television promoting cultural and historical awareness, and is a member of the IJL Board of Representatives.

David Young - USA

Residence: Turlock, California USA / Nationality: American

Began Jousting in 2010

Day job - Veterinarian

Motto: 'Robore prudentia praestat' (Prudence excels strength)

A life devoted to breeding horses and the study of swordsmanship inspired
David Young to take up the lance and the pursuit of arms. David has competed
in tournaments in the US and Canada, and looks forward to his debut on the
tournament fields of Europe.

Jeffrey Hedgecock - USA , Order of the Crescent

Residence: Ramona, California USA / Nationality: American

Began Jousting in 2003

Day job -  Armourer, President, Historic Enterprises, Inc.

Motto: 'Honneur seurlement entre egaux' (Honour only among equals)

A lifelong passion for all things medieval led Jeffrey Hedgecock to a long career as an armourer, and an avocation in jousting. As a world renowned armourer of nearly 25 years experience, Jeffrey has produced pieces for descriminating high-profile clients around the globe and demonstrated his armouring techniques in 2005 at the Royal Armouries Museum. Jeff and crew made the armour for the cult classic "Army of Darkness", and more recently Jeff has appeared on TV in programmes such as "Modern Marvels', Mail Call' and 'The Worst Jobs in History'.

Jeff is a founding member of the international jousting team the 'Order of the Crescent' and his southern California team the 'Knights of the Golden Sun'. Jeffrey has jousted in 10 countries around the world and won tournaments in England, France, Belgium and the USA. He teaches jousting and medieval horsemanship to students all across north America.

All contents 2008-2013 Historic Enterprises, Inc. - All Rights Reserved