... When you ask Fred for biographies for jousters?
For the Brook's Medieval Faire we commonly asked the jousters to provide us with biographies for the program. We get everything from two lines to five in-depth paragraphs from our jousters.
However this year our beloved Fred Piraux was asked for biographies of Jousters. He provided some good honest truth and a lot of Belgium humour along with it. While we didn't end up using them for the program, they were too good not to share. Please enjoy as we start with Fred (Well and end with him too)!
Humility and diplomacy made in Belgium: That’s Fred Piraux. In 2000, he used his ex-mounted police officer magnetic charisma to gather a group of jousters that later inspired the creation of the International Jousting League. To support the development of the IJL, The Pride of Burgundy (his secret wish nickname) toured the world for a decade of jousting greatness and friendly discoveries. Having won more tournaments than he had divorces might be his greatest achievement, if you disregard the fact it took place in 12 countries on 3 continents!!! In 2014, to honour a promise he made to his mum, Fred put an end to his stroll in the never-ending fields of glory, and dedicated himself to provide the jousting community with his endless talent for organizing, freak-controlling, dictatorshipping…. But always with a smile and a hug, ‘cause he speaks French, Dutch, Spanish and Polish! It is always a privilege and a pleasure for him to perform in the colonies, so Fred looks forward at shaking your hand (because it is a family oriented show after all) at the ever growing Brooks Medieval Faire.
Born and raised under the blazing Italian sun, fed under a she wolf to respect the tradition… for the pleasure of your eyes he crossed the ocean! The Mediterranean cowboy, the emperor of fettuccine and 8th wonder of the jousting world…. Nicola Corrarello is yours for the weekend. Don’t be fooled by his reserved nature! Flamboyance is better expressed in armour. His mesmerizing words of certified latin eargasm donnor, secure his hold and sweet power. Sir Nicola rides of course, for glory, honour and pride… but above all he rides for the stars in your eyes.
Marc Hamel (the real Knight, not the fake Jedi)
We’ll never know if Mark would have matured into a full size adult because of his smoking addiction, but in honour and loyalty he’s always been larger than life. All through his service time, this ex-military has made Canada proud. Now he still carries around his banner around the world for the love of « peaceful » jousting… Much safer indeed! If not banging an armour wannabee piece of steel into shape, he’s probably sitting under the back porch carving a lucky piece of anonymous wood into a phallic (cause that’s how we want them), yet still harmonious crest. A gentleman, a jouster and a crafts wiz’: Mark is like a swiss-army knife. Unlike the Jedi, and as a reward for his endeavour to make this world a friendlier place, Mark found a Princess who is not his sister…. And just that is worth the extra cheers from the assembly!
Mother to countless geldings and mares (still not keeping a stallion though) has built her epic legend around her ability to fit in size S armour. After a traditional coffee mug breakfast, she can take on the world… but considering the amount of planification needed, she’ll settle for Calgary based Society of Tilt And Lance Cavalry presidency. Her love for history, knighthood and banquets knows for only limit the budget for the next rescue horse. Placing friendship on the level of most honorable virtue, Radar has made herself the center of gravity of humorous jousting world wide. Just another achievement for our celestial leader in her quest to grow the sport she loves. So, for the jousters you cheer this weekend, none of this tournament would take place, if it was not for the love of Radar.
Caroline “Magpie” LaBrie
Caroline embodies the Canadian female determination that turned “You joust like a girl!” into a major compliment on the circuit. It was an armourer challenge to squeeze such a broad smile in a helm but it was our only way to muffle her endless enthusiastic speech. Her first equestrian performances took place, like most jousters, in a medieval show that made her troop so famous they decided to get rid of her by sending her overseas in 2008. From day one, she amazed the international jousting community… with what she believed to be french. She only came back stronger and more talkative than before with a re-enforced determination to train horses, get armour, raise an astronaut and break sticks! Challenge well taken and there she is before you (still muffled, promise!) about to deliver her best stunt strike!
"As long as Fred gets better and better I do not mind waiting. In my very first tournament I was about to joust Fred who was an icon in jousting. I was horrified. I felt I was jousting the Lord himself. I almost peed in the saddle. What happened? Fred smashed my saddle. his lance made a hole in my mail and I survived. Since then I never feared anybody with a long stick." On a standard foggy morning in the far away Scandinavian plains, long before the Beatles even had a hard day’s night, Crom got drunk and met a chestnut mare… From that day of old, there was something smitten in the Kingdom of Denmark. A new hairy breed of hero was riding the lands, no hands on the reins to better please the fans. Ole Bach, is the name of that jousting freight train. Keeping his saddle dry, since he has no fear, the man built a legend talently handling the spear. Many minions would follow his lead if only they could get, the mumbling speech of his breed that sounds like garget. Till that day you only will keep him strong by clapping madly and cheer him along!
It all started poorly… driving on the left side of the road, walking upside down and taking the Aussie piss against all winds: Sarah Hay is a lady of challenges. As a teacher she got rapidly aware that everyone else knows better so she focused on developing her skills. Unexpectedly refusing to cut off her left breast, she still lead the Amazons team to victory in her first International joust. Surfing on that success, she then made the world her home by visiting and dominating every joust spot on planet earth. No female jouster is equally dreaded on the circuit…. When most competitors rush to paramedics for a blooded wound, she puts out her camera for a selfie! If the Australian flag only had one star, it would have been Sarah Hay‘s.
While bragging knights are legion, expected and not at all anonymous, none of them masters self-mockery like Ontario based Jordan Heron. Ever balancing his jouster deeds with his jester wits, the one and only Humble Diva will fool opposition and rock the arena. When DJ Jordan gets on the mike, he’ll tell you how he could miss any strike. When riding at him behind your shield, you pray the gods to give him that mike! Any hair locks crowling down a helm? Before you whistle and pump out your chest… check out the belly, it just might be Jordy!
If jousting was allowed in a classy dress, you can be certain Stacy Wasson would give it a test! Frenchy by heart, she can proudly salute « les pritty messieurs! » with daring airiness, then grab the next lance with the battlefield fortitude of a WW II nurse. On both sides of the Atlantic, she’s been riding under the star spangled banner, sharpening her skills and determination. The jousting mother honors her true and only lover by raming him steadily from coronel to vamplate… since her noble nature allows him to come shopping later. No lady can be “ladier” than Stacy Wasson in and out of character!
Bright eyes staring through the visor sights, lower lip bitten in apprehension of the next pass, white knuckles on a jousting lance…! Is this moment real or is it just her imagination? Alison Mercer wants to honour her spurs. She loves history too much to ignore what they mean… to her and her giver. She smiles. For a second she wonders, if Marius Leitfort would go wild or mild in such a moment. She smiles. For sure, Jordan would say her hair smell good even in armour. She smiles. She thinks about her Jedi. She smiles. If the crowd only knew what’s going through her mind, they too would join in and smile.
Aase Viking Jousting Recipe:
Parallel parking the danish drakkar: check!
Pillaging Tim Horton’s: Original blend – black and sweet: daily check!
Having hubby carry my armour to the tent: check!
Tell squires I only want red lances: check!
Break cheap Canadian wood: Too easy Master Chief!
Spare no opponent especially other Danes: There must be only one!
Ride my horse into that damn marshal: Promise to myself!
If crowd sounds, looks or smells hostile… apply violence until resistance ceases.
To him, jousting is like building his Canadian home… Secure the foundations: solid riding and a strong mind. Sturdy walls: thick and shining armour to protect a generous heart. Many bedrooms: for loving family and numerous friends. Spacious kitchen: better kill him than feed him, after all! Jean-François Drapeau will build anything with his beer tray size hands then soften them to velvet for hand kissing his Lady at heart. He will bear hug his friends, like not seen in centuries, then joust them to the ground as a friendly enemy. He’s a most generous and devastating nature, like a helmed hurricanes on horseback who will win and win again the crowd’s favour and thunderous cheers.
If Disney had a jousting character, it would then be Jeffrey Wasson, not much room for error! All necessary panoply in stock: the garbs, the nobility of soul, the Princess and the hair cut. His only drama would be the inability to find a villain willing to face him. Everyone loves the jousty yankee who can build armour, cook an omelet and probably takes weekly showers. So beware Aladdin, Charming and other John Smith… here is your competition, smiley Prince Wasson
Dale is really a tall guy! We had to send twice the dwarves back to the mines, to collect enough ore to complete an armour for the tall guy. Thank good the seamstress also had enough tartan for his kilt… Quiet confidence only perspires through his arming doublet for a STALC trained jouster knows no fear and has no enemy… save Galahad! For the love of Lady Penny, worthier than the label, Dale will ride, joust and conquer. And if you cheer him loud enough, he might just do it one handed!
If jousting is loud… jousters are louder… but if you’re looking for the loudest, you’ll have to turn to the flamboyant Jean-Sebastien Drapeau. Not many can wave a sword in one hand and a lance in the other but that is no problem to this fire-breathing dragon wannabe. In his spare time, the blond Drapeau also breeds alligators, not hesitating to feed them festival vendors who failed to give him a fair discount. That young knight’s fearless and endearing personality will win the crowd in no time. The bomb is armed… the detonator is cheers sensitive … When ever you’re ready!?!
When the international jousting community will shoot its own sexy calendar, we’ll turn to Dale Gienow for probably 2 or 3 months. No jouster wears leather like he does! Riding his mighty Druid in battle, he forged himself a reputation of surgical striker that got him overseas invitations. Modern jousters adding strings to all bows, Dale is also a renown falconer and knows it all about flying, jumping and crawling creatures of any style or species. If he raises his glove, that’s where they’ll go. Show your Canadian pride for one of your own!
Across the plains of Mazury in the old Kingdom of Poland, rode the fierce and proud Hussars… that image is so easy to envision and respect once you met Damian Debski. With a lifetime dedicated to horse training and re-enactment, none could fit the armour better than this roman, napoleonic, sheriff! Ladies see him as the moustached musketeer, opponents see him as another brick wall to crash in. Self-preservation is not his creed… yours neither unless you brought mead!
If you expect french jouster, Luc Petillot, to show up with a beret and a baguette under the arm… you’re in for a surprise…. He will! As one of the most experience stick breakers on the circuit, Luc (secretly nicknamed “The Crocodile”: big mouth, short legs) fears only to make the crap lance. From the Napoleonic battle field of Waterloo (which FYI is in Belgium) to the hussarian Vistula banks (which FYI are not in Vistuly but in Poland) the over-energetic frenchy can be seen riding ahead of his detachment, probably looking for a white flag to borrow.
To non french speakers, Angels have now a human face. To all french speakers, Devil has long curly hair. Marie Baron is yet their common icon. Don’t be lured by the shy, silent lady looking down at her dusty riding boots… Just check how fast her boyfriend stands up to do the dishes! The restive horse will have her favour, the heavier lance will hit harder in her hands and the better you obey the longer you’ll live in her world. When some consider to white flag off the event…. She reaches, grabs and sneeze in that cloth!
Your highest expectations in this competition have just been reset to finishing second… Ripper Moore just stepped out of his camper. Good readings and richest rhymes are daily treats for his witty mind, when broken lances rather than bones are his contribution to our sport of old. The Renaissance Man rides proud and solid. Like his heraldic stag, he fights earnest and avid for what he holds dear… « While Breath Remains» !
We can not have all that without someone saying something about Fred, so our determined, not to be outdone, Jordan Heron had this to say about Fred.
"From out of the darkest corner of pre-history comes a man whose countenance strikes fear into the heart of every young jouster. His deeds are not shouted from the rooftops, but whispered, quietly, from one competitor to another. His face is the purest deception. If you meet him when he is laughing, you will miss the face of the warrior who will lay you low on the next pass. If you meet him at his most stern, you will miss the face of your closest friend and ally. His cup contains no alcohol, yet he is constantly drunk with the sheer joy of his own life. This is a man to be honoured and revered, and yet he is a man who will hold you up as a paragon and will make you feel yourself worthy in his company. The old man of international jousting, the child that each of us strives to become, the walking legend of Frederic Piraux!"
– Written by Frederic Piraux and Jordon Heron