Support our local drought-stricken farming community by entering the Cockscomb Classic 2018 hosted by Eden to Addo champion, Bucklands Guest Farm, for mountain bike riders of all levels.


Bucklands Guest Farm is well known for its involvement in adventure sports.  We have been one of the prime support stations on the Freedom Challenge MTB since it started 14 years ago, we are involved in the Midnight Express MTB, we host the Karoo Moon Trail Run, and this year we start our own MTB, called the Cockscomb Classic.  Hannes Horn, 4th generation sheep farmer and host on Bucklands, now operates the adventure sport events under the name Buckaroo Adventure Sport Events. 


The current drought in the Karoo is the most severe in history.  For the sake of survival, farmers comes up with many innovative ideas to boost cash flow, in order to be able to feed their sheep, pay the wages of some incredibly faithful staff, and to make ends meet.

On Bucklands we renovated an old lucern shed for functions and events, mostly 4×4 and adventure sports.  We have been involved in mountain bike events for 14 years, being one of the prime support stations on the Freedom Challenge MTB, one of the hardest races in the world.

Eating with these world class athletes around our kitchen table taught us lots about the sport, made great friends, and lit a flame in us that we will cherish for ever.  We love the sport and its people.

Many of them came back to the farm to prepare for races, and often we had to hear how special our area was for them as riders.  But it was not until Garry Green, Natal farmer and owner of the Berg and Bush MTB, as well as event organiser of the Jo-burg 2 C, and the Sani 2 C MTB’s, brought his family to ride our section of the Freedom Challenge.  We had time to discuss and agreed that he will help me start a race in our region.  And so the Cockscomb Classic was born!

THE COCKSCOMB CLASSIC will take place on 7 April 2018.

The event is a one day MTB race day, consisting of three separate races, each aimed at a different level of rider.  The event gives opportunity for novice riders to participate in the same event as the biggest names in the sport, a necessity for growth and development, not only for beginners, but also for riders from previously disadvantaged groups.  There is a lot of development necessary in the sport, as it is an expensive sport, and some of the best talent in the country will never be able to afford a bike.

THE RACE TAKES PLACE in the Steytlerville district, on Bucklands Guest Farm, about 150 km from Port Elizabeth, and in the Karoo.  The majestic Cockscomb Mountain forms the spill around which the whole event goes.  All the races has names that has something to do with the mountains name, and the two shorter races runs through the foothills and plains on the northern side of the mountain, while the main race of the day goes over and around the mountain itself.

The event is designed for family participation in a world class race.  The main race of the day will take riders at least 5 hours, and during this time, the family can participate in one of the other two races, or chill out at the race venue, where kids can go on donkey cart rides, feed the horses, ride their bikes, or play.  There will be food stalls and music and the party will be on!  Riders have the option to camp the night before and after the race, bringing own tents or renting some farm accommodation on the farms around.

The Cockscomb Classic promises to be one to remember, with the gees of a real farm party, the Algoa Hit mobile with Neil Bisseker behind the microphone doing the music and announcements, and the bar and food stalls to keep the thirst and hunger away.  Meals will be real farm style food, setting us apart from the city sleeker races everyone got used too!



27.4km, 236m total elevation, on a smooth gravel road, with 2 great water points and a lot of fun!

This is the entry level race, for the novice riders, the party lovers, and the families waiting for dad to come off the mountain.  It is easy and a great circular route, and riders need no real race experience for this one.  Difficulty level:  Easy


46 km, 502m total elevation.  It is a pleasant, fast race on nice municipal gravel roads and some farm roads, and has 3 water points.  The circular route takes riders close to the foot of the Cockscomb mountain and back to Bucklands.  It is scenic, fast, and designed for fun, but it can be used as a warm up or practice run for other races. Difficulty level: Easy.


103 km, 2 400m of total elevation, with 4 water points, and 4 emergency water points.  The route takes riders from Bucklands on a gravel road, over the Cockscomb mountain on a jeep track to the Elandsrivier road, up to the Patensie tower, down to the Grootriviers poort, around Paardenberg, and back to Bucklands.   About 60% of the route follows the same route as the Freedom Challenge, but in the opposite direction.

This race is not for the novice rider, and compares with the Attekwas MTB in difficulty level.  The climb up the Cockscomb is probably the hardest section of mountain climbing of any race in South Africa, climbing 600m in just 6km at the most difficult section.  Down the southern side it is even steeper, and the decent has to be taken with extreme caution.  It is technical, very steep, and dangerous.  But obviously, loads of fun!

The race is designed so that the most difficult section is in the first third of the route, doing the hard miles while the legs are still fresh.  It gives the real climbers of the sport opportunity to build up a lead.  The second third is fast, with scenic mountain passes and great mountain riding, and the last third is the easiest, being mostly downhill slope on farm track.  This section gives the speed freaks the opportunity to catch up with the mountain goats, if the legs can recover and the cramps can be kept under control.  The Conqueror promises to be interesting and challenging right to the end!  And  at the end, there will be tears, and smiles, and ice cold beer!

The mountain is big, the scenery breathtaking, the water points divine, and the riders participating, some of the best in the sport.  This race has all it takes to become one of the great one day races in South Africa.

The Cockscomb Classic puts the mountain back into Mountain Bike Racing!  And we top it up with true farm hospitality, a great party, and (have I mentioned?), very cold beer!


There is no prize money (yet), but trophies will be given for the winning man and lady in each event, and the first prize for the winner of the Conqueror, is a family weekend for 5 in a chalet of his choice on Bucklands Guest Farm.  The winner of the King of the Mountain also gets a weekend for two in the Poortjie chalet on Bucklands Guest Farm.


The event has no sponsors as yet, and the potential of this race is really up there with the best in the sport.  Our advertising campaign includes a rather large campaign on Algoa FM, the printed press, all the bike shops in the area, and plenty personal invitations to some top riders.  Melissa Harris from Limpopo runs the PR campaign, like only she can.

Algoa FM will be on the farm the day of the event, with host and mc Neil Bissiker in the Algoa FM Hit Mobil keeping the party going, and doing 3 live report backs of the proceedings of the race.

The opportunity for branding on the race venue, our vehicles, the media adverts, and posters, is still anybodies, and we invite corporates and business to contact me in this regard.


The race is born from the drought, for survival.  Those who helped us and other farmers during this very tough time, will benefit.  The Dutch Reform Church of Steytlerville gave lots to struggling farmers, and they will do the catering and the water points, from which they can earn money to replenish their coffers.  There is also no better catering service in the world than a bunch of boere tannies behind the pots!

The Farmers Union and Steytlerville Show Committee, has helped many of us with food for dying sheep and goats, and they will benefit by running the cash bar. (Yes, the one with the very cold beer!)

Our own NPO on Bucklands, called Let’s Help Africa, invests a lot in school libraries and IT centres for rural and farm schools, and a percentage of the profits of the event will be allocated for this purpose.

Some of the land owners will benefit by payment for the race crossing their land, as an event like this has impact on farming activities.


The entries can be done on line on our website, visit: and go to Buckaroo Adventure Sport Events.  There you will find the Cockscomb Classic with entry forms.  The directions to get to the farm are also on the website.


The Conqueror R500 pp

The Broiler Bash R200 pp

The Hennebaloo R110 pp

R35 day license fee applies for non registered riders.

Meals are extra and has to be ordered and paid in advance on entry form, main meals are R100 and light meals are R50.  Camping is R80 per person and you bring your own camping gear. Children under 12 camp free of charge but must order meals if they want.  There will be food stalls for extra food and snacks.  A cash bar is available.



16h00 – Arrivals and setting up own camps.

16h00 – Registration and open for late entries – R40 late entry penalty.

18h00 – Braai. Coals provided for own meat, Braai Packs and salad for sale at R60.

19h00 – Welcoming and music in the hall for langarm dance.


06h00 – 07h00 – Saturday morning arrivals and registration, R40 late entry penalty.

07h00   – Breakfast (Please pre order @ R50.00): Pap, wors, and roosterkoek and fruit.

07h15   – Neil Bissiker start Algoa FM broadcast and music from the Hit Mobil.

07h30   – Race Briefing

08h00   – Start of Qonqueror 103km Marathon MTB.

08h15   – Start of Broiler Bash 46km MTB.

08h25   – Start of Hennebaloo 26km MTB.

09h00   – Stalls open, donkey cart rides for kids, music by Algoa FM.

10h30   – Hennebaloo Prize Giving Ceremony, by Neil Bissiker, Algoa FM.

12h00   – Broiler Bash Prize Giving Ceremony, by Neil Bissiker, Algoa FM.

12h30   – Start of Chicken Run 3km MTB Kiddies race.

13h00   – Chicken Run Prize Giving Ceremony, by Neil Bisseker, Algoa FM.

13h00   – Lunch from stalls, Hamburgers, Pannekoek, Roosterkoek Boerries, etc.

16h00   – Conqueror Prize Giving Ceremony, by Neil Bisseker, Algoa FM.

                 Closing Ceremony.

18h00   – Spitbraai.  (Please pre order @ R100.00): Spit, veggies, home baked bread.

19h00   – Music in the hall, stoepstories, relax, fun, ( someone usually starts a koedoedrol     spoeg competition) and kuier.


07H00   – Breakfast (Please pre order @ R50.00) 

08h00   – Good Byes!

Stalls include, coffee, food, biltong and droëwors, home made products, arts and crafts.

Photo’s by Matty van Rensburg.

Cash bar open from Friday till Saturday night late.