Locals Cheer at 150th Annual Jousting Tournament in Cordova
While Wednesday's event did not feature the traditional combat joust with knights in shining armor, kids and adults armed with lances competed in ring jousts testing their precision and riding skills.
Riders have eight seconds to charge down an 80-yard course to catch suspended rings with their lances.
"It's the sport of Maryland. It's a way of supporting our history," said Father Clemmons Manista, a local clergyman. "But it's also wonderful way of bringing out people to appreciate [and] care for the animals, the skill in doing the jousting."
Jousting is the official state sport of Maryland. The sport was adopted by the state in 1962. The jousting community is big on the eastern shore with groups like the Maryland Jousting Tournament Association spearheading state and national championships throughout the year.
"My favorite part is the full-blown charging for the jousting. And it's exactly the same as I remember it," said James Slacum of Hurlock, who was with his family watching the tournament.
"It's always exciting to watch. It takes a great deal of skill to pluck that one and three-quarter inch ring off the string, so i enjoyed watching it."
The tournament is also a special tradition many of the families here today are sharing together.
"I came here as a child probably in the early 60s, so I haven't been back in a while. I'm 62 now and I just wanted to relieve those childhood memories," Slacum said.
The St. Joseph's jousting tournament is the second oldest of its kind in the state of Maryland.
Jousting events are scheduled to happen nearly every weekend on the eastern shore through October. For more information about attending jousting events, visit http://marylandjousting.com.