John Cook Memorial Cowboy Challenge

Click here for John’s obituary.

Presented by the Supreme Cowgirl Foundation
     Benefiting Houston
Methodist Cancer Center

The John Cook Memorial Cowboy Challenge is a fund raising competition for teams of cowboys and cowgirls that takes place on the C4 Ranch in Holman, Texas. In 2012, this event raised $20,000 for the Curing Children’s Cancer Fund.  Beginning in 2014, the John Cook Memorial Cowboy Challenge has partnered with Houston Methodist Cancer Center.

The Cowboy and Cowgirl Challenge is made up of five events: a Natural Trail Obstacle Course, a Pasture Trail Course, Pasture Cattle Handling (AKA Mavericks), a Pony Express Run, and a Leggings Relay. Each team is made up of 5 horses and 5 riders. Each horse and rider is tested on their skills in a natural trail setting, pasture tasks, working cattle, team planning, and team building. The riders are judged on safety and common sense as well. Each event is a stand-alone contest, whether judged or timed, and points are given for 1ST-5TH places.

 General Rules


  • All riders will sign a liability form at check- in.
  • Riders may be observed by a Judge riding or in-hand obstacles.
  • Riders may ask a Judge for instructions on how to complete an obstacle.
  • Each obstacle is designed to evaluate the rider or horse, or both.
  • Any type of cruelty to animals such as excessive use of spurs, crops, etc. will be penalized.  A rider will be subject to dismissal from the challenge if it continues.
  • Each rider is responsible for his own safety and the safety of his mount.  Earned points and resulting awards are to be considered secondary to safety.
  • Each rider must maintain control of their horse throughout the ride.  Failure to do so could result in disqualification.
  • Riding double, ponying an animal with or without a rider is not allowed.  Ponying a horse as a part of an obstacle shall not be allowed.
  • All riders are encouraged to wear a helmet when mounted, but it is not mandatory.
  • Riders may dismount and walk their horses at any point in the trail unless otherwise instructed for an obstacle.  The riders should be aware by doing so they could be subject to missing a hidden observation.
  • Each rider is judged on their trail ability, negotiating obstacles, or observations on the trail.
  • Riders may not consume alcoholic beverages before or during their ride.  A rider will be disqualified if it appears the rider is using drugs or alcohol.


  • Horses are allowed to wear any type of leg protection or hoof protection including leggings, bell boots, shoes, and/or boots.
  • Horses must be serviceably sound and in good condition as determined by the judge.  Horses will be observed for soundness before leaving on the trail.  Horses that are lame will be dismissed.

Tack & Attire

  • Attire: Boots with a heel are mandatory.  Dress should be appropriate for the weather and the event, neat and functional. (Example: long sleeved shirt, blue jeans, boots) Show clothing is not required.
  • Tack must be safe, humane, and in good working condition.
  • Tie downs and martingales will not be allowed.