ANNAPOLIS — Two Maryland teenagers who are newcomers to national competition, and one veteran national titleholder from Hagerstown were honored by the Maryland Horse Industry Board with Touch of Class Awards for earning national titles in jousting, the official state sport of Maryland.
The awards were presented at St. Margaret’s Church Joust in Annapolis. Of the four national jousting titles, three are held by Marylanders.
Corey Minnick, 30, of Hagerstown won his third national title in the professional division; Mikayla Miller, 13, of St. Leonard (Calvert County) won the national title in the amateur division; and Anthony Reinhold, 17, of Denton (Caroline County) won his title in the novice division.
Minnick, 30, a veteran titleholder, won his third national title in the professional division at the sport’s national competition in Aldie, Va., on his horse, Tana, a tri-color Tennessee Walker gelding. It is not uncommon for up to 10 members of Minnick’s family to compete at one of the 20 or so jousting competitions held throughout the state each year. Minnick’s two young children, Noah and Rachel, also compete.
Miller, 13, started jousting at a local riding stable four years ago and won the national title in the amateur division. She is an upcoming freshman at Calvert High School. Her mount, Tike, is an Appendix quarter horse owned by Tynewydd Riding Stable in St. Leonard.
Reinhold, 17, won his title in the national novice division in only his second year of jousting. A high school athlete who excels at baseball, Reinhold won his title on a horse borrowed from friends. He will enter Chesapeake College as a freshman this fall and is a graduate of North Caroline High School. His grandfather, Buddy Wooters, won five national championships.
Jousting originated in ancient times with knights participating in combative rivalries. In modern jousting, riders have nine seconds to run through an 80-yard course and spear rings hanging from a series of three arches. The rider who spears the most rings wins. The size of the ring depends on the level of competition and gets down to only one-quarter of an inch at the professional level. The highest level of competition is professional, followed by semiprofessional, amateur, novice and for beginners, leadline.
The Maryland Horse Industry Board inaugurated the Touch of Class Awards in September 2011, to honor the horses and riders who have achieved national and international prominence. The award is named in honor of the Maryland-bred mare, Touch of Class, who won two Olympic gold medals at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. For a complete list of winners, go to www.mda.maryland.gov/pdf/TOC_Winners_To_Date.pdf.
For more information about jousting, call Jim Drews, president of the Maryland Jousting Tournament Association, at 410-739-2790, send an email to email@example.com or go to www.marylandjousting.com.
For more information about the horse board or Touch of Class Award, call Ross Peddicord, executive director of the Maryland Horse Industry Board, at 410-841-5798 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.