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(PHOTOS) Armored horseback fighters exchange blows with real swords at ‘Winter Knights of Cheyenne’

The medieval-themed fair is the first of its kind Visit Cheyenne has sponsored and hosted.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Laramie County residents time-traveled back to the Middle Ages on Saturday to witness full-armor duels and other spectacles.

Winter Knights of Cheyenne,” a new two-day medieval event, was held Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 17–18, at Event Center at Archer. Visit Cheyenne, which sponsored and hosted the event, teamed up with Canadian-based medieval group Knights of Valour to present high-octane, full-contact sports like jousting, armored combat and acrobatics.

Shane Adams, owner of jousting troupe Knights of Valour, has been jousting for more than 30 years and hosting Renaissance fairs for 20. In 2017, he hosted a medieval event in Loveland, Colorado, and received positive feedback from Cheyenne residents. Over the past six months, he has been working with Visit Cheyenne to organize “Winter Knights” and share the thrill of medieval tradition with Wyomingites.

Five knights adorning hundreds of pounds of armor wielded lances while on horseback for the jousting event. Several of the knights came from the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The iron-clad contestants competed in matches consisting of three rounds. Each medieval fighter received one point for striking the opponent with their weapon, five points if they broke their opponent’s weapon, and 10 points if they knocked their opponent to the ground.

Other fighters also stepped into the ring for their own exhibition matches. Members of the medieval combat team Colorado Wardens faced off against one in full-body armor. The fighters displayed their European martial arts and tactical prowess using real swords and shields and searching for openings to strike their rival.

Knights of Valour owner Shane Adams narrates the jousting show Saturday, Feb. 17 during the “Winter Knights of Cheyenne” medieval event at Event Center at Archer.
Knights Shoshana Shallanse. left, and Austin Smith fight with real swords Saturday, Feb. 17 during the “Winter Knights of Cheyenne” medieval event at Event Center at Archer.
A jouster waits to receive his lance for his jousting match Saturday, Feb. 17 during the “Winter Knights of Cheyenne” medieval event at Event Center at Archer.
Children examine medieval armor, clothing and accessories Saturday, Feb. 17 during the “Winter Knights of Cheyenne” medieval event at Event Center at Archer.
Two jousters in full sets of armor race toward one another on horseback Saturday, Feb. 17 during the “Winter Knights of Cheyenne” medieval event at Event Center at Archer.
Medieval attendants react to two full-contact jousters Saturday, Feb. 17 during the “Winter Knights of Cheyenne” medieval event at Event Center at Archer.
Falconer Crystal Stacey and her lanner falcon Skyler show off tricks for a birds of prey presentation Saturday, Feb. 17 during the “Winter Knights of Cheyenne” medieval event at Event Center at Archer.
Austin Smith, left, goes for an opening against opponent Shoshana Shallanse during a sword match Saturday, Feb. 17 during the “Winter Knights of Cheyenne” medieval event at Event Center at Archer.
Swords are on display at a vending station Saturday, Feb. 17 during the “Winter Knights of Cheyenne” medieval event at Event Center at Archer.
Jouster Aaron Tobey hands an attendee a rose prior to a jousting demonstration Saturday, Feb. 17 during the “Winter Knights of Cheyenne” medieval event at Event Center at Archer.

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