What a week that was!
To make up for the lack of Carosella in 2020, we extended the event to a full week by added three days of Mounted Combat Intensive to the beginning of the week. That meant we had half a dozen students working on their riding, horsemanship, swordplay, and mounted combat for three packed 8-hour days from Monday to Friday. About half of the students were members of our Cavalier program who were taking advantage of the opportunity to accelerate their riding and swordplay with twice daily practice rather than the usual weekly schedule. We also had students coming from further afield, including Andrew Newton of Annapolis Valley HEMA in Nova Scotia, and Jess Finley of Ritterkunst Turnhalle who also came out to teach at Carosella.
Every morning students took lessons in Riding and Horsemanship with instructors Cassandra Tattrie, Isabel Landels, Eleanor Landels, and Jennifer Landels. After some stall and paddock work and an additional lunchtime Horsemanship session, we handed them over to Dave Wayne for swordplay instruction on the ground. Finally it was back up in the saddle, this time with swords and spears in hand, for Mounted Combat. On the final day students were offered the chance to assess for their Green Spur Swordplay skills with further opportunities to assess Riding and Horsemanship during Carosella. Above are some day 2 pictures, from the ground vs mounted class.
Thursday was a well-deserved rest day for horses and humans alike, and we can neither confirm nor deny that some of us may have been found at one or more local wineries, meaderies, or cideries.
Friday 23 September
Carosella kicked off on Friday with private riding clinics with Jen Landels, plus Beginner Horse Archery with Robert Borsos of Borsos Torsz Horse Archery, followed by an Intro to Gatka with Jagjit Singh Nijar of the Gatka Federation of Canada, Sword & Rotella with Devon Boorman of Academie Duello, and Equine First Aid with Eleanor Landels. Our lunchtime lecture was a panel with Jess Finley, Devon, and Benjamin Davis arrayed in full harness, telling us of their journey to armoured combat.
After lunch, Jen ran a workshop on introducing horses to new and potentially scary things, while Ben, Jess, and Devon ran an armoured combat workshop at the other end of the ring. We’re pleased to announce that our new boys Toad and Mako were absolute super stars when it came to new and scary stuff, as was guest pony Prancer. Meanwhile in the outdoor ring, Rob continued the archery stream with ground archery and Intermediate Horse Archery. We finished off the day with Swordplay Fundamentals for Mounted Combat with Dave Wayne, Fiore’s Armoured Plays with Devon, Level 1 riding assessments with Isabel Landels, and some guided sparring practice as evening fell.
Saturday 24 September
Saturday began with Intro to Mounted Combat, Jess’s Liechtenauer’s Armoured Plays, a rapier workshop focussing on Bruchius’s plays with Adrian Jones, and Conformation & Unsoundness with Eleanor. After that were more riding clinics, and an amazing workshop on Italian Flag from Marli Vlok. Then Ginger Larkins, who wasn’t able to make it up across the border, gave us an online lecture on Mounted Combat and the Modern Seat.
The afternoon saw us take Marli’s flags to horseback, followed by some mounted sparring. Isabel gave a lecture on Conditioning the Horse, and Kate Landels offered up Horsemanship Assessments for our Intensive students. The day ended with a Mounted Games workshop and more guided sparring in preparation for Sunday’s Tournaments.
Sunday 25 September
Sunday’s Tournament started with the Groom’s competition, where teams of two competed to see who could turn out the best groomed and tacked-up horse. After that, the spear, longsword, and sword & buckler tournaments began in the indoor arena, while team mounted games kicked off the outdoor activities. As a special treat, Dorothy Lannon kitted out her beautiful retired show horse Sweet Intoxication PPA, aka Violet, in her Arabian costume for Eleanor to give a demonstration ride. Dorothy also generously allow participants and visitors to have their picture taken with Violet.
The Guru Nanak Sikh Gurudwara provided a hot lunch for all attendees, which was welcome indeed during the rainstorms. The afternoon saw individual games, ground and horse archery competitions, and the finals of the weapons tournaments. Our streak of beautiful weather ended, and many of the riders were quite wet by the end of the day, but everyone bore it with good humour. The winners of the tournament were as follows:
Grooms’ Tournament: 1. Vilija Davey & Stephanie Brodowski (Flavie) 2. Dave Wayne & Robert Borsos (Chevelle) 3. Allie Douglas & Jade Standing (Tilly)
Team Games, Open: 1. Allie Douglas (Tilly), Nathan McWhir (Prancer), Raja Harjaap Singh (Flavie), Robert Borsos (Mako) 2. Hillary Knapp (Bailey), Laura Ambrosiano (Honey), Namkiran Singh (Mako), Vilija Davey (Flavie)
Team Games, Beginner: 1T. Ben Van Huis (Mako), Laura Smith (Winnie), Stephanie Brodowski (Flavie) 1T. Avneet Kaur (Princess), Harkireet Kaur (Tilly), Jessica Finley (Winnie) 2. Dave Wayne (Chevelle), Jade Standing (Tilly), Mehr Ansari (Princess).
Individual Games, Open: 1. Robert Borsos (Mako) 2. Allie Douglas (Tilly) 3. Nathan McWhir (Prancer)
Individual Games, Beginner: 1. Jennifer Kesic (Bailey) 2. Laura Smith (Winnie) 3. Jade Standing (Tilly)
Horse Archery: 1. Robert Borsos (Mako) 2. Vilija Davey (Flavie) 3. Namkiran Singh (Mako)
Ground Archery: 1. Vilija Davey 2. Robert Borsos 3. Thomas Boylan
Spear: 1. Amitjyot Singh Mann 2. Thomas Boylan 3T. Raja Harjaap Singh 3T. Ravdeep Singh
Longsword: 1. Namkiran Singh 2. Amitjyot Singh Mann 3T. Dave Wayne 3T. Raja Harjaap Singh
Sword & Buckler: 1. Amitjyot Singh Mann 2. Ravdeep Sharma 3. Namkiran Singh
High Point Winners
Equestrian High Point
These are the riders with the highest combined scores in the Grooms’ Competition, Team and Individual Games, and Horse Archery
- Robert Borsos, 24 points
2T. Vilija Davey, Allie Douglas 19 points
4. Stephanie Brodowski, 15 points
5T. Laura Smith, Jade Standing, Mehr Ansari, 13 points
Unmounted High Point
These are the competitors with the combined highest scores in Archery, Spear, Longsword, and Sword & Buckler
- Amitjyot Singh Mann, 17 points
2T. Thomas Boylan, Namkiran Singh, 10 points
4. Ravdeep Sharma, 9 points
5T. Vilija Davey, Raja Harjaap Singh, 8 points
Carosella Grand Champion
- Robert Borsos, 29 points
2. Vilija Davey, 27 points
3. Namkiran Singh, 22 points
4. Allie Douglas, 19 points
5T. Raja Harjaap Singh, Amitjyot Singh Mann, 18 points
A huge thank you to our sponsors the Gatka Federation of Canada and the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Committee, and their president Hardeep Singh Nijar, for providing the trophies and the food truck for Sunday’s lunch. Thanks too, to Academie Duello for running the ground tournaments and donating their instruction time, and to our photographers, CJ Richardson, Nicholas Bird, and Mychaylo Prystupa. We couldn’t have run the event without a host of volunteers who are too numerous to list here, but special thanks go to Dea Grace, Harley Middleton, Adrian Jones, and Travis Smith, who put in extra time and effort into helping the Intensive and Carosella run smoothly. And of course thank you to all the participants for your enthusiasm, talent, hard work, sportmanship, grace under pressure, and good humour, over the course of this amazing week.
Carosella 2022 is set for the Labour day weekend. Mark your calendars!