James Fairclough, an acclaimed equestrian and Drew University Alum traded jumping for jousting on the February 12 premiere of History Channel’s ‘Full Metal Jousting’ show. Noted for winning the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Cacchione Cup in 2008, and has been the co-rider of renowned equestrian Mary Chapot’s horses Starquest (resulting in a performance good enough to ride into the 2011 Six Year Olds Circuit Championship) and Zealous ( who was awarded the 2011 WEF Circuit Champion for the Seven and Eight Year Olds, as well as Horse of the Year for the Seven and Eight Year Olds in 2011). Fairclough is the owner of Cavalier Show Jumping out of Seahorse Stables located in Water Mill, NY and is optimistic about the upcoming season of FMJ.
The show, hosted by professional Canadian jouster Shane Adams, offers a $100,000 cash prize to its finalist, as well as the bragging rights of being able to say they were hit with a 7-9 lb wooden lance repeatedly and lived to tell the tale. The horses used appear to be mainly draft horses weighing in at roughly 2,000 lbs. The show boasts that the average force of impact these jousters will face are similar to the impact of 1,000 lbs of force, on horses traveling at a maximum of 30 miles per hour. Their armor, mainly constructed from modern materials, is predominantly composed of steel and weighs 80 lbs. The ‘helmet’, which looks like a riff on the ‘Iron Man’ style mask seen in the movies has limited visibility, and appears to be limiting on air circulation.
That being said, as an equitation rider I am interested to see how equestrian legend Fairclough fairs, and whether or not his past riding experience will give him an upper hand in the competition. Check out the trailer below to get a taste of the action!
How do you think he will fair in the upcoming season? Sound off in the comment section below!