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Ambulance called as jouster Mieka Leitch takes "knock to the head" at Orange Showground

Mieka Leitch. Orange Medieval Faire/Facebook.

By Peter Holmes

An ambulance was called to the medieval faire at Orange Showground early on Sunday afternoon following an accident during a jousting event.

A jousting image from the Orange Medieval Faire's social media pages.

According to one eyewitness, the injury occurred during the second jousting "melee" of the day at about 12:45pm.

The melee was between father Phillip Leitch and his daughter Mieka Leitch.

"After taking a knock to the head in this morning’s session, Mieka was taken to hospital for a medical assessment," organisers told The Orange News Examiner.

"She was conscious and speaking on site, before being able to stand assisted and walk to the stretcher."

Mieka Leitch is currently in hospital, "where she is being kept for precautionary scans, in-line with our concussion and medical protocols".

They said Mieka and Phillip Leitch would not return to competition today.

The point of impact. Supplied.

"They rushed at each on the horses carrying a long lance," said the eyewitness. "They try and break each other's lance but somehow [one] has been injured.

"She dropped the lance and slumped in the saddle of the horse, then medical aid rushed to help."

The onlooker estimated the crowd at about 1,000 people.

The injured jouster is attended to before the ambulance's arrival. Supplied.

"Because she had a suit of armour on, they had steps to help her off the horse," said the eyewitness.

"Everyone is sitting in silence, there's a bit of shock."

The ambulance arrives. Supplied.

About 10 people gathered around Mieka Leitch as they waited for an ambulance.

A screen was held over her to keep her as cool as possible.

The eyewitness said Mieka Leitch was "alert and sitting up" before being taken away by the ambulance.


“I know not how to yield” is Rodney Deaman’s motto, and it proved true when he became the inaugural winner of the Orange Medieval Faire jousting tournament on Sunday afternoon.

Deaman, aboard his trusty steed Harry, defeated Andrew McKinnon, who is also the event’s creative director, in the final bout.

New South Welshman Deaman has been jousting for three years.

Jousting was contested over four sessions in the two-day event.

However, the third session early Sunday afternoon was cut short when jouster Mieka Leitch was injured in a bout and had to be taken to Orange Hospital by ambulance.

Organisers have indicated they are keen to see the medieval faire, held over the weekend, return to Orange next year.

- David Fitzsimons


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