They are all best friends and yet they fight every week. Two couples and four horses are dressed in padded armor ready for full contact fighting. Brian and Elise Dix and Joe and Nikky Scofield are all members of the Society for Creative Anachronism or SCA. The SCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to re-creating the Middle Ages, concentrating on Western European civilization before 1600 A.D. The friends have spent a lot of time together riding horses and performing or jousting in several states. The group’s area consists of three states and is called Artemesia.

All four will compete in the Idaho Renaissance Faire at noon, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., Saturday Oct. 13 and from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 14 at the Gem County Island Sports Complex.

Elise saw a jousting demonstration at a Renaissance Faire two years ago. She and Brian had been looking for something interesting to do together with their horses. They soon found out that their horses are well mannered and suited nicely to do full contact jousting.

Nikky said that Joe got her involved with the SCA 17 years ago. He was teaching Medieval sword fighting. She was involved with Olympic style fencing and it seemed a good fit. After the first class, she was hooked.

The SCA program at the IRF will include jousting for two days and a fighting area with armor fighting. Those demonstrating have rules and regulations about fighting. They are well protected in either metal armor or rigid chest protectors. Their faces are covered or protected with a helmet. Their throats will be protected with leather or chain mail. They sometimes carry a shield called an ecranche. Even their hands are protected with gauntlets.

Gentlemen jousting is based on targeting for points. Since horses are highly valued, if the horse is hit, the rider is disqualified. In Medieval days, if you hit the horse, you would lose ownership of it. Other “skill at arms” games are spearing or slicing cabbages in half, jousting with a lance and picking up rings to practice for hunting, javelin throw and the ever fun pig sticking using a sword or javelin.

For information on the IRF, go to www. idahorenfaire.org  .

For information on the SCA, go to www. sca.org   or email: bd300win@yahoo.com  . Members must be over 18 years old, own a horse and be a proficient rider willing to learn.