28th Oct, 2016

First female jouster takes the reins at Kenilworth Castle

Laura Kearns 27th Jun, 2016 Updated: 13 hours ago

A DAMSEL turned knight at Kenilworth Castle.

In days of olde it was men who competed in jousts, dressed in full armour, atop their horses and brandishing lances.

But in another victory for womanhood, Nicky Willis showed the female of the species was also capable of a spot of jousting when she did battle at Kenilworth on Saturday.

And 48-year-old Nicky almost won the day, accumulating more points than the three men before rain saw the rest of the joust suspended.

Mrs Willis – who regularly jousts abroad and has trained horses for more than ten years – said: “I have heard how much fun it is to joust at Kenilworth, and couldn’t wait to be part of the action this year.

“Kenilworth is famed for some of the most elaborate tournaments in medieval England – as well playing host to one of England’s strongest women, Queen Elizabeth I – so it’s the perfect place to sort the women from the boys.”

Emily Sewell, head of events at English Heritage, said: “Historically, the knights who took part in jousting tournaments were an elite band, the best of the best. No women were among that group.

“Now they are, and in order to bring our visitors the opportunity to witness some of the most accomplished knights on the circuit, it made complete sense to invite the leading female jousters to join us.”