Medieval Re-Enactor Fatally Impales Himself Through Chest With Own Lance In 'Freak Accident'

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A Medieval re-enactor playing the role of a jousting knight accidentally impaled himself with his own lance during a performance as spectators watched. He later died.

Peter Barclay, a 52-year-old father of two from Woodbridge, Virginia, was participating in the medieval festival equestrian games in Williamstown, Kentucky, when things went horrible wrong on Saturday.

Barclay, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, performed under the name “Master Terafan Greydragon." He was a longtime members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), according to the group’s president John Fulton, The Washington Post reported.

Fulton said the 52-year-old was competing in an equestrian game at the Kentucky event inside a large pavilion while spectators watched. In the game, riders had to pick up their lance from a hay bale and then ride, using it to pick up a paper plate.

Barclay, who ” had the lance in hand, picked the paper plate off the ground and was finishing the course when the accident happened.

“Something happened with that spear,” Fulton said Wednesday, “and he lost control of it or it turned, hit the ground, and as his horse was moving, the tip of it went into him.” A lance weighs roughly two- to three-pounds and has a metal tip on the end.

Fulton said the lance’s tip went into Barclay’s abdomen.

“He got off the horse, took some steps and people noticed he was bleeding,” Fulton said. Barclay then collapsed and was air lifted from the event to a hospital but died en route, according to Fulton.

The SCA later put out a statement on Facebook:

On Saturday, October 6, a brother in arms to many of us lost his life in the pursuit of our game. The Society’s Equestrian Marshal, Master Terafan Greydragon, died while competing in an equestrian game at an SCA event in Kentucky. The Society is investigating the matter and is fully cooperating with the authorities. The Society Marshal is conducting an investigation to determine what might have led up to the accident, and what specific measures should be taken to ensure that this does not occur again. Upon the completion of our investigation, the SCA will make the results available to the public. We have reached out to Terafan’s family to express our support for them at this moment of loss. We ask that Terafan and his family be held in your hearts. -- Society Marshal

- Alan Gravesend, Society Marshal

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