NZ Cowboy Challenge is a competition that is designed to test the partnership of horse and rider through negotiating a series of obstacles on horseback. Riders complete a timed course with 13 obstacles (out of a possible 70 approx) and are judged on performance and horsemanship. The sport came to us from the USA and Cowboy Challenge has been embraced by New Zealand riders as it fits right in with this country's love of fun and adventurous sports.
The White Horse Cowboy Challenge was New Zealand's first Challenge, held in Gapes Valley, Geraldine on 27 February 2010. It was organised by the Aoraki Western Riding Club and attracted 31 adult and youth entries. Due to the success of this inaugural Cowboy Challenge and the interest in the sport thereafter, the New Zealand Cowboy Challenge Association Inc. was duly formed.
Clubs and individuals organise "Points Approved" Challenges throughout the country, with approval and support from the NZCCA. The Association provides an official Rule Book, maintains points and oversees judge training, and has developed an official, competitive structure, enabling points approved Challenges to be held around the country.
See Downloads for Rules and Constitution. Our Rule Book includes a full list of obstacles.
Competitors start in the Rookie Division(or Youth for 18 yrs and under) and points are allocated to a horse and rider combination for placings, based on how many are in a class. Once a combination reaches a certain number of points they progress to the next Division. Horse and rider combinations registered for Hi Points are eligible for end of season Hi Point buckles.