Friends and family of a beloved Medieval knight re-enactor have been left “stunned” after the Virginia man accidentally impaled himself with his lance during a re-enactment event over the weekend.
Peter Barclay, 53, was competing in an equestrian game in front of a crowd in Williamstown, Kentucky Saturday when he was fatally injured.
Participating in events under the knight name of Master Terafan Greydragon, Peter went to spear a paper plate while on horseback when something went wrong and his lance impaled him under his sternum, WLWT confirms.
Peter, a military veteran, was airlifted to a hospital but died en route.
“Everybody that knew him is just dead stunned,” President of the Society of Creative Anachronism John Fulton told WLWT. “His ability, his skill and his attention to detail and safety is just totaled.”
“I’ve never had an injury on the field like this, ever, that led to something like this,” Fulton continued.
When Peter attempted to spear the plate, his lance contacted the ground and flipped, his brother John said in a Facebook post.
The lance used for “catching rings (not jousting)” John further explained as he called his brother’s death a “freak accident.”
“He died doing what he loved, but will still be missed,” John wrote in the tribute to his brother.
Prior to his death, Peter — who is a married father of two daughters — was retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army. His brother said he had competed in medieval sports for over 30 years.
Though he was cremated on Wednesday, no funeral date is set yet. John told Las Cruces Sun News that the family is planning to have multiple ceremonies.
“We don’t have a funeral date set, but we’ll likely have two. One a small, family event and another celebration for SCA,” he explained. “I guarantee there will be thousands all over the world who come for that.”
Following Peter’s death, the SCA confirmed the tragic incident on Facebook. They also spoke to the sudden loss of their Equestrian Marshal, explaining that they’re looking into how to prevent something like this from happening again.
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“A brother in arms to many of us lost his life in the pursuit of our game,” Society Marshal Alan Gravesend wrote. “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,” Gravesend continued. “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.”