A Woodbridge man accidentally impaled himself in the abdomen during a jousting tournament in Kentucky last Saturday. He later died.

Peter Barclay, 53, was competing in a timed equestrian event in front of spectators in Williamstown, Kentucky, last Saturday when he apparently lost control of his lance and became impaled by the spear.

The specific competition involved individual riders picking up their lance from a hale bale and then using it to pick a paper plate up off the ground. Barclay, who was wearing a “doublet” — the appropriate gear for this particular non-combat activity — had almost completed the course when something went wrong.

“Something happened with that spear,” John Fulton, president of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), told the Associated Press, “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.”

Courtesy of Facebook

After the injury, Barclay was able to dismount and take a few steps before collapsing to the ground, visibly bleeding from his abdomen. He was airlifted to the hospital but died before he got there. 

A longtime member and leader within the SCA, Barclay — who made his home in Woodbridge, Virginia — was a seasoned jouster, participating in Medieval reenactments as many as two to three times a month for the last 30 years. Known in the jousting community by his stage name “Master Terafan Greydragon,” Barclay was the group’s deputy for equestrian activities and was such an expert in the event that he had taught others how to do it as well.

Courtesy of texasjoust.com

“He was the consummate expert,” Fulton said. “He knew how to do it and how to do it safely.”

Barclay was also a recently retired Army lieutenant colonel who had served at the Pentagon for the last four years.

The SCA has more than 30,000 members worldwide and adheres to strict safety rules and policies. This tragedy, however, seems to be a freak accident. The SCA is cooperating with investigators.

Are you a member of the SCA? Did you know Barclay? Feel free to leave your condolences for his family in the comments below. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who knew him. 

Here’s how a bunch of gigantic president heads ended up in a remote Virginia field.

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