Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Caroline LaBrie, Canadian Jouster.


Several years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Caroline LaBrie. She is one of many Women Jousters that I wished to interview. As sometimes happens, we lost contact with each other, and then remarkably thanks to Facebook, were able to once again make a connection. I have not as of this writing profiled a woman who jousted.-Not for a lack of knowledge of Women Jousters, just the time and the person hadn't yet arrived.

Well that person and that moment have arrived. As you will see in the photographs with this article, Caroline LaBrie is always smiling. Every once in a while we come across a person, who has a genuine sense of Joie de Vivre.-An exultation of spirit, a happiness to be alive. For me it is a real pleasure to introduce her here in my blog. She is also a shinning example of what I call the Modern Medievalist scene that is rapidly gaining 
prominence in Canada. As another put it to me, "Canada doesn't have a medieval tradition, like Europe. But we have a very strong set of European medieval ancestors.-So the traditions, seem to come readily to hand."At any rate, I think Caroline's words and her photographs should tell their own story...enjoy!

(c) Claude Charbonneau

Q: When did you decide you wanted to Joust?

A: In 2000- when I join a group of medievalist who were performing in a show

much like medieval times. I was recruited as a squire then and started slowly working my way up!

(c) Catherine Morin-Michaud

Q: How long have you been riding?

A: I've loved horses for as long as I can remember, I was riding as a child / adolescent in location center but I began to learn more seriously in 2000 when joining the troupe.


(c) Pascal Ratthe

Q:When did you start actually Jousting?

A:In 2005, when my horse was fully trained and ready…so as myself!


Q: Who made your very unique looking armour?

A: Benoit Desjardins from l’Armurerie du Dragon. He was referring on a drawing made by Steve R Gagnon, artistic director and International jouster.


Caroline breaking lances with Damien Martel.
@ The Joust Médiévale internationales de Lachute 
September 2012.

Q: What has been the most surprising thing you have discovered since you began?

A: The bond between men and horses. Gaining their trust, their respect, it is a beautiful partnership and this will always be an amazing thing for me, a gift.


Caroline with her best Equine Friend and Partner for six years "Nemrod."
(c) Jean Francois-Rivard.


Q: What has been the hardest thing for you to learn how to do?

A: I am left handed, when I started doing the games and eventually, the joust, I always had to train a bit more than my partners to gain accuracy. Another challenge is changing from a medieval gown to an armor in ten minutes after a carousel! 


Q: What do you like the most about Jousting/Fighting?


A: The opportunity to experience a few glimpses of what it was like for knights and warrior in the medieval ages. Being able to learn from it and share that great experience with the public. There is also that part about making a dream come true, an inspiration to youngsters to believe in themselves and work hard to achieve their goals.



Caroline at full throttle!

Q: Where do you expect to be in five years from now?

A: I have been lucky enough to joust the past three years with my friends horses since my former horse had to retire in 2009. I’m working with a stallion I intend to buy in a near future and train more seriously in dressage. Working with horses is a gift and I want to keep on learning and bringing up my personal goals in this sport that I love.


Q: Have you found acceptance or have there been resistance to you being a jouster?


A: I was lucky enough to start my evolution in a show where the winning knight was a girl! Even if I never made it to that role before we finished presenting this show, the group was always very supportive.


Q: Is there anything you have yet to do in a medieval context that you really want to???


A:I have a new horse to train, a pure breed Canadian stallion. I hope he will enjoy tournaments and reenactment. As I was saying earlier, I would love for him to learn some Haute-École moves and being able to do some dressage display during the events, combined with the joust.


PS Bonus Question: What do you do to support your horseback and Jousting... What sort of job?


A: I work as an administrative assistant. On the clipboard next to my desk are some pictures of my son, horses and great shots from tournaments to keep on remembering how lucky I am to be able to live the dream!

Because she Jousts, never for a minute think she is not a lady.-DS Baker

I would like to think Caroline, for her time, her effort in speaking with me, and making herself and her world available to me. She is a private person and for her willingness to participate in this interview it was a wonderful and delightful gift.-Merci Beaucoup.

For those who would like to see Caroline LaBrie in the lists, I have a You Tube video link for your enjoyment.
This is the Joust-Médiévale internationales de Lachute Held in September of 2012.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Lqs_CKibiM


All my absolute best!

If you have enjoyed the interview please leave a comment in the space below!

DS Baker.