Tournament of the Inland Empire Returns to Clayton

By K.S. Brooks

On June 1 and 2, something completely different will be coming to Clayton Fairgrounds: jousting. Honestly, though, the Tournament of the Inland Empire is so much more than jousting. This year’s event, hosted by the Epona Equestrian Team, will include archery, longsword, melee, skill at arms, mounted sword fighting, mounted wrestling, and… jousting, of course. Last year, they also had face painting and airbrush tattoos, as well as food vendors, gift tents, and even medieval shields and swords for kids. As always, there will be a beer garden with an excellent view of the activities.

Admission for the event is $10; kids under six are only $3. This year, the Tournament is teaming up with Second Harvest; you can get one dollar off your admission for each can of food you bring, up to three cans. Make sure to get your hand stamped so you can come and go as you please.
The gates open at 2PM. Equestrian events begin at 4PM and run until midnight, with the grand melee at 7:30PM and jousting at 9:30PM. These events are held far apart to give the horses time to cool down from the late spring heat. There will always be plenty going on, however, to keep folks entertained.

Folks from all over the Pacific Northwest are coming to compete in this tournament, trailering horses, suits of armor, and more. Spectators have it a lot easier, but might want to bring sunscreen and jackets – because once the sun goes down, the air can get a bit of a chill.

If you’re interested in participating in the games (horse events require horse experience), send an email to For more information on the group and the event, go to ⸙