Next, the large, white Spanish Norman horse and his world-champion knight are slated to appear in a televised tournament on NBC.
But first, Duke championed over a runaway horse trailer in the Big Thompson Canyon with the help of Lambke, passers-by and the Loveland Fire and Rescue Department, who slowly peeled away the metal of the trailer to free Duke.
"He's my little miracle horse," said Lambke, world-famous extreme jouster who recently moved his jousting school to Estes Park and Fort Collins, and an actor who played the headless horseman in the Johnny Depp version of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and acted with Jim Carrey in "The Cable Guy."
Late Saturday afternoon, Lambke packed up Duke and another horse in a trailer hitched to a special bus to transport them from his school at the Elkhorn Lodge to an equestrian ranch in Fort Collins. He double- and triple-checked the hitch to make sure it was secure, then headed down the winding canyon.
For some reason, the trailer came unhitched about 5:10 p.m. near the Dam Store.
"I don't know why, but it came out and started passing me on the left," said Lambke. "It was heading into the next curve, so I blocked it with the bus to slow it down."
His maneuver seemed to work and the bus was slowing down, but then the trailer veered into the opposite lane and faced off with a Toyota van. The driver, 42-year-old Camille McCoy of California, swerved but the side of her van hit the right side of the trailer, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
From what he heard on scene, Lambke believes McCoy mirrored what he had done seconds before and deliberately blocked the trailer to slow it down.
"She totaled her car for my horses," he said.
With the trailer finally stopped, Lambke rushed to check on his two horses. Rex, on the left side of the trailer, was fine and able to walk out on his own. The rescue closed U.S. 34 in both directions for two hours and 45 minutes.
Duke, however, had become lodged in the front of the right side of the trailer. He appeared to have tried to escape through a much-too-small safety door and was wedged in so tight, with his front legs dangling out, that Duke was having trouble breathing.
Lambke and about five others who stopped to help lifted the trailer and tried to push Duke back, but the beast was still having trouble breathing.
"He was just gasping, gasping, gasping," said Lambke. "Me and another cowboy guy, we just did a full back charge at his chest. We pushed him back, and he was able to breathe."
From there, Loveland Fire and Rescue crews used their Jaws of Life to cut away the trailer, a veterinarian sedated him and, with the help of Lambke, firefighters pulled Duke from the trailer. He suffered some cuts and bruises, but is doing well.
Lambke expects a full recovery for Duke and a long career in extreme jousting -- a sport Lambke helped return to the public eye in modern times. He also hopes to bring a tamer version of jousting to the Olympics and will compete, hopefully atop Duke, against Charlie Andrews, another world champion who Lambke helped train, in the NBC special Feb. 9-10.
"He's young, and I really see a great future with him," Lambke said of Duke.
Pamela Dickman can be reached at 669-5050, ext. 526, or email@example.com