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Anna with the regalia of the Middle Kingdom Equestrian Champion.

The Middle Kingdom Equestrian Beastiary

Many years ago one of the first events I rode in was the Middle Kingdom Coronation event of Finn and Tamara.  It was a wonderful time full of contest and pageantry, and I had the good fortune to be chosen by Her Majesty as Their Equestrian Champion.  I was overwhelmed as I was called up to Court to receive the honor and the tolken, an eight foot white lance.  Being new at all of this, I thought it only polite to offer my service to The Crown (in court, in front of witnesses!)  Their reply was to set me a task to compile a photo album so all could see what the equestrians do.

As I pondered my task, I felt compelled to accomplish it in a period manner, after all, we were trying to recreate the middle ages. With the help of  my friend and mentor, Kassandra, and a number of other wonderful artisans, we compiled a real medieval book. The great part of belonging in the SCA is you are presented with numerous opportunities to learn something new.  I already had skills as a leatherworker, but in the making of the Beastiary I also learned how to do bookbinding, calligraphy, illumination, about book styles and types, and found lots of new references to historical horse artwork. The original book is part of  the Middle Kingdom regalia.  Here for your enjoyment is a copy of the book.

  • Cover
  • Title Pg
  • Pg 1
  • Pg 2
  • Pg 3
  • Pg 4
  • Pg 5
  • Pg 6
  • Pg 7
  • Pg 8
  • Pg 9
  • Pg 10
  • Pg 11
  • Pg 12
  • Bibliography
cover          The leather cover of the book has carvings depicting four scenes of horse as they were used in period.  The brass corner pieces and central boss were designed to protect the book as it was stored flat on a table rather than standing on end as we do today.
title Besides giving the title and artisan names, the title page has numerous illustrations filling empty areas, just as many period illuminators would have done. 


This page shows the regalia of the Middle Kingdom Equestrian Champion.


This is the first page showing the most common games we play.


This is the second page showing the games we play.


This page shows the first two champions of the Middle Kingdom.


Here are the third and fourth champions.  The artwork on the champion pages reflects the time and culture the riders are portraying.


This page shows the fifth and sixth champions, including myself.  After this I left several blank pages in the book to allow more champions to be added in the future.


This page done in a pictish manner is the beginning of the historical horse uses in the book.


Horses sometimes suffered along with humans in battle.


A beastiary is a book describing nature and beasts in Medieval times.


The Codex Mannesse shows many important people and the heraldry they used.


Chaucer's book depicts other uses for horses, including going on pilgrimage.


Horses also had recreational uses in the Middle Ages.


What good is a historical reference book if it doesn't have references?