The first resurrected Poreč Giostra of the 21st century, the horse race of knights competetors, is held following the rules of knights competition held in Poreč, 14th April year 1745.
Bartolomeo Rigo, the knight competitor in Giostra and district chancellor saved these files according to the will of the respected judges from Novigrad.
Batolomeo Rigo wrote that the majestic racecourse had been constructed on the shore about hundred steps (about 180 meters) long and about 10 feet wide, narrowing towards the end to about 5 feet.
On the left side of the racecourse two signs had been marked with red colour where the knight had to throw the spear and hit the Saracen (target) set at about 30 steps (cca. 54 meters) from the last sign. He supposed to hit him (wound him) and break the spear.
The racecourse featured a fancy stage where the noblemen watched the competition, and on the right side of the race course, the guards made of 100 soldiers and officers guaranteed order.
Town walls and windows overlooking the racecourse were richly decorated with the rarest adornments found in Poreč, and the port featured equally rich decorated galleons. Six smaller, undecorated galleons accompanied them. The sea was covered with sailing ships from which the curious folk watched the competition.
The game featured 8 knights. Each of them had their squire (infantry) and “sekundant” (godfather) on the horse. They where supervised by the “Maestro di campo” with all the crowd, knights, trumpeters and spare horses.
All knights and godfathers would first go to the palace of the Maestro di campo, to be welcomed and for a banquet after which – at around 8 p.m. – lead by Maestro, they would go to the racecourse. Their spears were carried by their godfathers, and they marched sorted from the oldest to the youngest.
They would march through the racecourse in two directions and sign up to the Tribunal of respected Judges.
Trumpeters would play three bars – the godfather would hand the spear to the knight, and on the second sign the squire marched through the racecourse to represent the rights and actions of his knight. On the third sign, the knight would start a race throwing spears on the marked places. Everybody competed in the same way and in three races. After the final race, the judges and their ambassadors would check the results on the targets and declare the winner.
The tribunal would call for the best and give him two top quality guns worn on the hips, the usual reward for the winner of Giostra.
Giostra, as the files of district member Riga say, wouldn’t end by declaring the winner. The knights would have another race on the Saracen impelled by the noblewomen according to the same rules. The winner would get the majestic golden plate Masgalano. The noblemen would meanwhile bet who the winner would be, and deposits were – golden sequin. Another duel would take place after – between the winner of Masgalana and the winner of the Saracen.
After numerous adventures on the racecourse the competitors of Giostra would gather on the abundant and glorious dinner at the winner’s home, and the next day again on the solemnly lunch at the captain’s of the Venice fleet and a sponsor of Giostra that was held on his personal call.
Here are the rules for the knights of Giostra, and modern day competetors will follow them as well – the first Poreč Giostra:
First: All competitors must take an oath of honour before the Master of the games.
Second: Every knight must come to the racecourse with his godfather that must be on his horse and must be served by his squire, Lache.
Third: On the first sign of the trumpet, the godfather will give the spear to his knight. On the second sign the godfather will march through the racecourse, and meanwhile the knight will head towards the entrance. On the third sign, the knight will start the race.
Fourth: If, when the race starts, the knight’s horse starts in the wrong direction that means a deduction of one point.
Fifth: Three motions of throwing a spear must be respected in three fields marked with red colour on the racecourse.
Sixth: If the knight grazes the racecourse or his horse with a spear during the race, he will lose one point.
Seventh: While the race lasts the knight mustn’t utter a word or else he will lose one point.
Eighth: If the knight’s leg comes out of the stirrup during the race, his hat, cape, sword or anything else falls, he will be punished as stated above.
Ninth: If the knight loses his spear at some part of the race, especially after the final throwing, he will lose two points.
If he doesn’t break s spear after having hit the Saracen he will lose one point.
Eleventh: After returning from the place where the Saracen was at, the knight must follow the three motions under the penalty of losing one point. The same happens if he touches his neck, hand, shoulder, the side of his horse or the racecourse with his spear.
Twelfth: Upon the end of the race, the knight must give his spear to his godfather who has to show it to the judges so they could record the number of points, defending the rights of his knight in every moment in order to protect him from all prejudices.
Thirteenth: Every hit at the Saracen from his forehead to his eyelashes wins three points. A hit from eyelashes to mouths two points, and below mouths to the chin one point.
Fourteenth: Among the hits to the forehead, the ones that have hit the middle will be preferred over others, and according to the mentioned above, central hits will receive half a point more than others.
Fifteenth: All spears must be the same dimension, shape and quality.