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Meet the knights set to battle it out at this year’s international Easter tournament

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

The Royal Armouries annual International Easter Tournament is back and this year it promises more knights in shining armour and shattering lances than ever before.

From Friday 30 March – Monday 2 April the museum in Leeds will resound to the cheers of crowds in its impressive jousting arena, as eight internationally-acclaimed knights battle it out in an authentic medieval tournament.

As well as individual competitions, spectators are encouraged to get behind their favourite teams as the Royal Armouries welcome returning victors from Team France and Team Poland, as well as Easter Tournament first-timers, Team Australia. The teams will clash against the Royal Armouries own Team England in pursuit of the coveted Sword of Honour and prestigious Queen’s Jubilee Horn.

From childhood, Team England’s Andy Deane only ever wanted to be a knight. Having first mounted the saddle at the age of four, jousting was always his main goal, a dream that was finally met in 1993 when he experienced his first tournament.

Andy’s teammate Nicky Willis has been jousting since 2008, joining the International Jousting League in 2010. In this capacity, she has gone on to compete across Europe and beyond, as far as Australia.

Last year’s winner of the Queen’s Jubilee Horn in the individual competition, Team France’s Luc Petillot is the founder and manager of the medieval re-enactment group ‘Excalibur Île de France’, organising jousting clinics and foot combat tournaments, as well as training horses and riders in lance, sabre and carabine skills.

France’s Marie Baron is a professional horse trainer, specialising in classical dressage, side-saddle and film stunts. She enjoys riding in Wild West shows and Napoleonic re-enactments, as a member of the 5th Hussar Regiment.

Competing for Team Poland, Łukasz Dutkiewicz is a member of one of the oldest Polish re-enactment groups, Smocza Kompania, and a founding member and chairman of the mounted group Xiazeca Druzyna.

His teammate Krystian Mróz has previously appeared at the Royal Armouries in last summer’s spectacular Winged Hussar Horse Shows. In 2015, Krystian successfully competed in his first International Arundel Tournament in the UK.

Australia’s Sarah Hay says her passion for the joust was inspired at first sight of the sport. She started jousting in 2008. In 2010, she first jousted internationally in Belgium where she took home the trophy for the Sport Joust, since then, Sarah has competed all around the world in a number of high-profile competitions.

Sarah is joined on Team Australia by Phillip Leitch. Phillip works full time as a knight at Kryal Castle in Ballarat. He will be hard competition to beat, having won a number of prestigious jousting accolades internationally – he is also the WJC World Champion solid lance jouster.

The Easter Tournament is the highlight event in the Royal Armouries wider Medieval Easter programme. Other events include Knight Time (24 & 25 March), where visitors can meet competitors from Team England and learn what it takes to be a knight; there will also be an opportunity to witness the knight’s showcase their skills in Tournament Training. After the Tournament is a War of the Roses weekend, including action-packed battle reenactments and a ‘real life’ medieval encampment (7 & 8 April).

Commenting on the events, Mark Jackson, Events and Informal Learning Manager, said: “This year’s tournament and Medieval Easter programme promise to be bigger and more action-packed than ever before. This is an event not to be missed and a highlight in Yorkshire’s calendar, it will be great entertainment for all of the family and we advise you get your tickets fast before they sell out!”

The Royal Armouries would like to thank its team sponsors for their support of the Tournament. Team England are proudly sponsored by Hesco and Team Poland by the Polish Cultural Institute and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland.

Tickets are on sale now via the Royal Armouries website:

Easter Tournament:

Knight Time:

Tournament Training:

For event updates follow:

Notes to editors

Further enquiries to: Katie Canning, Communications Officer. Email:, telephone: 0113 220 1978

Timetable for events:
Easter Tournament
Friday 30 March – individual heats 12 noon & team heats 3pm
Saturday 31 March- individual heats 12 noon & team heats 3pm
Sunday 1 April – individual final 12 noon & team heats 3pm
Monday 2 April – mêlée 12 noon and grand finale 3pm.

Daily tickets (valid: Friday 30 March to Sunday 1 April) – under 16s/over 60s £6, adults £10, Family £25

Grand Finale tickets (valid: Monday 2 April) – under 16s/over 60s £10, adults £14, Family £39
Daily tickets include both arena shows.

About Royal Armouries
Entry to the museum is free but some activities carry a small charge.
• Royal Armouries has sites in Leeds, HM Tower of London and Fort Nelson in Hampshire.
• The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds houses a major part of the national collection of arms and armour, and displays over 8,500 objects throughout its five themed galleries.
• Open all year daily, 10am-5pm. Closed 24-26 December
• Website:

About the Royal Armouries

Entry to the museum is free but some activities carry a small charge.