Call for riders to ride in Battle of Hastings reenactment in England, mid Oct.
- From: "henrikofhavn" <duke_henrik@...>
Date: Sat Apr 1, 2006 11:08 pm
Subject: Call for riders to ride in Battle of Hastings reenactment
in England, mid Oct. henrikofhavn
As some of you may know, there will be held a reenactment of the
Battle of Hastings on the 940th anniversary of that famous battle.
It will be held on the weekend of October 14 & 15, 2006, at the
original battle site near Hastings, in southern England.
Participation in the battle reenactment is open to anyone ( male or
female) worldwide! The only requirement is each participant wear
clothing, armour and carry weapons that are specific to that
historical event. Since there is no currently acceptable historical
evidence that women participated in the battle, all participants of
the reenactment must dress and participate like men.
English Heritage, a British Governmental institution, is paying for
all the production costs associated with this event, including
liability insurance and rental of up to 150 ( or perhaps more )
english stunt horses. As such, English Heritage sets all acceptance
standards for participation. This is a public show with an expected
audience of 15,000 people per day, with ticket sales receipts going
to help fund English Heritage's annual conservation and restoration
efforts of historical structures and artifacts in England.
Folowing is the most recent comments regarding riders already
registered as wishing to ride in this event:
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 15:43:49 +0100 (BST)
From: Sandra Orchard <orchardse@...>
Subject: RE: String hauberk?
Assuming that Alan can afford the same number of horses as EH hired
(and we don't know that until all the sponsorshp deals have been
do not yet have enough riders registered to fill all the saddles,
they all pass the riding test. If that is the case by the end of
additional riders will be recruited from other Societies and will
not have the
full kit necessary. It will be these riders who will be wearing
whatever can be
begged, borrowed or, if necessary hired at short notice, not those
who will be
playing starring roles (including dehorsing) in front of the crowd.
can come up with 20 or 30 spare mail shirts at 2 weeks notice,
someone has a fully authentic, and spare mail shirt they can make
hire, please let me know. Given a choice EH would also much sooner
cavalry was correctly kitted out and I'm sure would be interested.
In this statement, Sandra Orchard (one of the staff hired by English
Heritage to organize the various reenactor groups and individuals
wishing to participate in this year's reenactment of The Battle of
Hastings)was refering to the October 2000 reenactment (in which I
participated, riding "King" the horse Mel Gibson rode
in "Braveheart")where only 100 horses were rented for the event.
What she is saying is that some number less than 100 people have
registered as wishing to ride as of this date. It sounds like this
is well less than 100, so if 150 are to be found to ride, a lot more
riders are going to be needed!
I can tell you that 100 horsemen divided up into 4 conroys of 25
each looks a little skimpy among the expected 3000 reenactors. It
would be much better to have at least 150 riders if not 200 or more.
A few people will trailer in their own horses from nearby, but with
Mad Cow disease worries and high fuel costs, I don't think there
will be many privately owned horses there.
So now for the reason for this posting ===
How would YOU like to participate in the most fun historical
event??? And do so on a fine English steed that probably has seen
more medieval action than any horse you know???
It's easy! Just say so and tell the organizers you want to do it.
Go to the folowing site for general participation registration and
Go to the folowing site to REGISTER TO RIDE and get EQUESTRIAN
The details of your participation as a rider are approximately the
a) You will need at least a linen (blend is ok) overtunic ("T"
tunic style), non-modern pants of linen or wool that is cross
gartered or other period fashion,period or non-modern looking ankle
high or shorter shoes with flat soles or low heel.
b) No visible glasses or tatoos ( contacts are fine) or modern
c)Although some loaner Norman helms may be available, plan on
having your own if possible. They can be lightweight, as long as
they look period in shape and metal finish and color.The helm should
have no neck or face coverings other than a nasal bar. Borrow one
from a friend if you can't get your own. You should have a mail hood
to wear under the helm (but a fabric one will likely be acceptable).
d)You will need a shirt of mail. It should be knee length
although mid thigh may do, and it should have half sleeves at least
to the elbow. You should wear a sword scabbard with a hilt sticking
out of it. It should be a whole sword if possible, but if you don't
draw it, who will know?
e)You should have a lightweight (1/4 inch thick - or heavier if
you prefer) kiteshield with a neck strap (guige strap) to hang it
from your left shoulder.It should have at least a wrist strap that
you can slide your hand through so you can handle the reins, while
it hangs from the guige strap over your shoulder as you ride. It
should be curved if you can manage it, but flat will likely be
f)If you wear spurs, they should be simple prick spurs. (the
horse supplier may tell you not to wear spurs on a particular horse)
g) COMBAT from horseback will be from Conroy formation in ranks
of twos or columns of twos. Just follow orders and keep with the
group. Contacts with the enemy reenactors will usually be simply
thumping your spear tip against their shield, if you can get that
close. Mostly it's advancing and withdrawing in formation between
but after advances and withdrawals of the various groups of infantry
(ON YOUR SIDE) with a lot of waiting at the bottom of the hill in
between. You will have a clear path to ride over since Your Enemy
stays in place at the top of the hill for the whole battle. The
battles run about 2 to 3 hours or so each afternoon of Saturday and
There MAY be some loaner shields as well as loaner helms, but try
not to count on that. The SCA has thousands of borrowing
h) If you can, bring a 10 foot spear with a blunt steel tip.
You can make a two piece shaft from a sleve of copper 1 inch (or 1
and 1/4 inch) pipe about 6 inches long with a dowel that is sized to
fit inside snugly. Find the desired handle location on the finished
spear and mark the center of the hand grip. Then make a steeply
DIAGONAL cut on the shaft so it seperates into two pieces, at the
center of this location. Now slide the two cut pieces into opposite
ends of the 6 inch copper tube so they line up with the cut surfaces
touching each other inside. Drill two cross holes about 1/2 inch
from each end of the tube through the tube and wood inside. Now fit
two threaded bolts with nuts through these holes to keep the spear
together and remove one to sepreate the pieces for transport in a
ski bag or fishing pole case ( or other case) on airliners. The
copper can be covered with string or leather to make the handle look
Note: There is a strong likelyhood that spears will be available for
loan at the event, since they had about five dozen to loan at
THE DEADLINE FOR REGISTERING was yesterday, March 31, but I think
they will accept them just a few days late.
More specific information is available from links through the listed
Hope you can join me at Hastings this year!
Henrik of Havn