GREGG COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - It’s a trip back in time, but it’s okay to take your phone. The Avalon Faire is underway after being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s on FM 1252 just west of Highway 42 in Gregg County, and features many things renaissance.
KLTV takes a look at the most popular event: Jousting. But this year there is a female knight at the reigns, and we happened to be there when she pointed her lance, and galloped straight towards, a competitive jousting knight who happens to be her husband.
When the word knight is mentioned, people generally associate it with Lord, not Lady. But Maegan Merritt, known as Lady May thinks all things are equal in jousting.
“I’ve been riding horses my entire life. So I was coming to the renaissance fairs, and I noticed that this was kind of an extreme sport. And something that I didn’t see a lot of women in, so I wanted to give it a shot and see if we could maybe grow the industry a little bit for women,” Merritt said.
And why was she going to renaissance fairs, well besides being kind of cool?
“My husband there, Sir James Fortner, he has been jousting for thirty years. He took me under his wing,” Merritt said.
Well, she came out from under that wing and jumped on that horse. And if she wanted to seriously compete in the American Jousting League, well she had to go up against her husband, Lord James.
“We do a little bit different style jousting. It’s full contact,” Merritt said.
“Does your husband treat you like everybody else?” I asked her.
“Oh yes. Very much so. I actually prefer that he hits me a little bit harder because I never know who I’m going to be jousting. It prepares me for that,” Merritt said.
No horsing around here. The armor is specially built for the impact.
“And from there it’s just getting used to taking the hits and getting in a small car crash every day,” Merritt said.
Or maybe three.
“It’s just to prove to women and younger girls out there that they can get up there on a horse and,” Merrit said
“And poke things with a stick,” I interjected.
“And poke things with a stick, yes of course,” Merrit said.
And I’m sure, like any other couple, if there’s a disagreement; they just talk it out, right?
With this lance, I thee joust.
The jousting and all the other medieval activities continue for the next three weekends at the Avalon Faire.
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