Americans have always been fascinated by the Renaissance. Since the 1960’s Renaissance Festivals have flourished, providing a venue for attendees to “get into character” and a great place to people watch. Renaissance Festivals employ bands of performers who create an imaginative world of costumed fire eaters, jugglers, musicians, falconers and battling knights.

Jousting is one of the most popular competitions. Two knights charge toward one another, each wielding a lance intent on knocking the other off his horse. Sadly, last weekend, a horse ridden during a jousting tournament died after accidently stepping on a broken lance.

Phantom, was one of four horses performing at the Wiregrass Renaissance Faire held at The Farm near New Brockton, Alabama. Phantom severed an artery when he was impaled by a broken lance in his hind leg. He was taken to a nearby tent where attempts were made to stop the bleeding. He died before the emergency veterinary service returned calls for help.

Phantom was owned by the Knights of Valour, an entertainment troupe that has been performing at festivals since 1997. The troupe owner told reporters this was the first accident causing death to one of their horses.

The 18-year-old Percheron gelding joined the group in 2006 and began performing in 2007. He was previously a carriage horse in Memphis set to be slaughtered before being rescued by the troupe.

The Farm, the fair’s venue, posted an account of the accident on their Facebook page.

Photography and Video Courtesy the Knights of Valour