Peter Barclay (53), a retired US Lt Colonel who was re-enacting being a medieval knight at an event in Williamstown Kentucky last weekend, accidentally impaled and killed himself with his 2 meter lance while doing so.
He was competing in an equestrian game inside a large pavilion with spectators watching when the accident happened.
The game entailed the rider picking up the lance from a bale of hay then using it to pick up a paper plate.
His brother John posted on Facebook: “He was at an equestrian/medieval event when his metal-tipped lance, used for catching rings (and not just jousting), hit the ground and flipped.
“Freak accident. It impaled him under his sternum killing him. He died doing what he loved but will still be missed.”
Jousting means competing closely with another rider for superiority, a common activity in medieval times
Barclay was member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, an international living history group with the aim of studying and recreating mainly Medieval European culture.
The Society’s president John Fulton said: “Something happened with that spear and he lost control of it or it turned, hit the ground, and as his horse was moving, the tip of it went into him.
“He got off the horse, took some steps and people noticed he was bleeding.
“He was the consummate expert. He knew how to do it and do it safely. It was just something that happened and we still don’t have a grasp of it.”
Barclay collapsed in the arena and was airlifted to hospital but died before he got there.
Master Terafan Greydragon, as he was know to fellow members of the society, had participated regularly in similar events at home and across the globe for 30 years.
He leaves a wife and two daughters.