Professional jousting at the Herriman Rodeo was a ’knight’ to remember
Jul 03, 2019 02:40PM
By Jennifer Gardiner
Charlie Andrews as he prepares for his battle. (Jennifer Gardiner/City Journals)
By Jennifer Gardiner | [email protected]
If you ever wondered about the difference between theatrical and a real jousting competition, those who watched the Knights of Mayhem at the Herriman Rodeo in June got to see firsthand just how adrenaline rushing and teeth gritting this sport can be.
In front of an audience of thousands of rodeo fans, the Knights performed at the 2019 Fort Herriman PRCA rodeo on May 31 and June 1 at the W&M Butterfield Park. If you missed out, just imagine two 250-pound men covered in over 130 pounds of heavy armor while riding war trained horses at 20 mph, each carrying an 11-foot lance. At the point of impact, the collision rate is upwards of 5,000 pounds at the point of impact.
Welcome to the world of full armor competitive jousting, known as history’s first competitive sport, and it has made a huge comeback, thanks to one man in particular, Eagle Mountain native Charlie Andrews.
Jousting is a full-contact extreme professional sport. The consistent head-on collisions are both aggressive and unavoidable. It is hard core, hard hitting and heart stopping. The thrill of the show and the impact is enough to send your blood pressure through the roof, if there is one.
Andrews is the founder and captain of the Knights of Mayhem, and he is a 13-time World Champion Heavy Armor Jouster. Andrews and his war horse, Jagermeister have won more than 55 tournaments.
This true knight in shining armor has definitely seen his share of injuries, but he somehow still manages to pull through. In September 2018, Andrews broke his tibia and fibula during an MMA fight. Three months later, with a rod in his leg, he was back at his main love of jousting. In January 2019, he was back battling it out on History Channel’s Knight Fight.
The Knights of Mayhem travel all over the U.S. and Canada, competing and performing in thousands of events from renaissance festivals in stadiums to arenas everywhere.
Andrews has dedicated his life to bringing more attention to the sport. In 2011, National Geographic did a six-part series that focused on the “Knights of Mayhem.” The series followed Andrews and his staff around and gave the viewers an inside look at their personal and professional lives. All of the members of the Knights of Mayhem are full-contact, heavy-armor jousters, who are trained in medieval and renaissance warfare.
Andrews and the Knights of Mayhem were also featured on a Netflix series called the “White Rabbit Project” as well as Nickelodeon's “Jagger Eaton's Mega Life.”
“You can be the biggest, baddest guy on earth, but if you can’t put that lance on point and hit the other guy on the target, you need to quit,” Andrews said. “The violence of a collision when the lance hits is insane. Jousting is not just a competition or just a sport, but in the old days, it was used in medieval warfare.”
It takes a team of extremely dedicated horses to make them indestructible. Andrews has a great love for all his horses, but his deepest bond is with his horse Jagermeister, a 2002 Belgian gelding and 12-time world champion war horse. The inseparable duo has been together since Jager’s birth 19 years ago.
And no one can forget the other two horses: Arthur, a 2004 Percheron gelding, and Odin, a 2010 Percheron gelding. Both tremendously strong and talented. Both of these horses help these Knights in their ultimate battles.
When he isn’t leading a team of hard-hitting “men of steel,” Andrews is a single father, raising his two children and horses on his property in Eagle Mountain. In his spare time, he visits children's hospitals, bringing some excitement to children with life-threatening illnesses.
If you missed them at the Herriman Rodeo, you still have a chance to see the Knights of Mayhem Aug. 23–24 at the Renaissance Faire in Lehi and at the Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City on Sept. 9.