Meet Team England: Andy Deane and Nicky Willis| Royal Armouries Easter Joust

Our annual Easter Tournament sees jousters from across the globe compete for personal glory and international bragging rights. Ahead of this year’s joust, meet team England, represented this year by Andy Deane and Nicky Willis.  

Team England are sponsored by HESCO. 


Andy Deane

Motto: Fortis Labore (Strong work)

As a key member of the Royal Armouries Museum’s live interpretation team for over 20 years, Andy uses his combat and performance skills every day to bring history to life for our visitors.

He started riding at the age of 4. With a lot of hard work and determination, his dream came true in 1993 when he took part in his first joust. He has been competing ever since.

Andy had a very successful jousting season in 2017, winning the team trophy at the Royal Armouries Easter tournament and prizes at Abbaye de Josaphat, France and in Sydney, Australia.


Nicky Willis

Motto: Qui dicit non u puellae (Who says it is not for girls!)

Originally from South London, Nicky started riding when she was 11 years old as a member of the South London Pony Club, where she competed in various events and exams. From 1988 – 2006 Nicky ran her own livery yard in South London where she started breaking in and schooling horses. Her horse supply work started with the 1415 medieval re-enactment group and her first joust was at the Tower of London in 2008.

Nicky has worked with horses in a variety of capacities and across many disciplines, including ridden and driven, for more than 30 years. Her first taste of the world of historical horses was back in 1997. Her career in historic equitation truly took off in 2001 when she was selected to train for and take part in a televised chariot racing contest in Spain. Since then her career has taken her to many parts of the world and over the years she has been privileged to work with the likes of renowned horse trainer and stuntman Tony Smart, Royal Armouries, English Heritage, Royal Historical Palaces and British Open Equestrian Championships.

She is also very experienced in the world of film and TV, having supplied horses for and appeared in the likes of Pride and Prejudice, Robin Hood, War Horse and recently the TV series Crimson Fields.

Nicky has been involved with horse supply to the Royal Armouries for their flagship international jousting tournaments since 2003. She started jousting in 2008, and in 2010 joined the International Jousting League – becoming a jouster in her own right. In this capacity she went on to compete across Europe and beyond, as far as Australia!

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Andy Deane, Andrew Balmforth and Nicky Willis in the grounds of Gniew Castle.

Taking place over the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend, the Easter Tournament runs from 30th March to 2nd April 2018. Find out more about our Easter Tournament and book your tickets on Eventbrite.