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Hughston’s Cow Camp Carries On Legacy of ‘Special People Understanding Rodeo Skills’

MCBAIN-- The Special People Understanding Rodeo Skills (S.P.U.R.S) event began in 2017 by Brenda VanHouten. She was inspired by a trip she took to a New Mexico rodeo with her twin daughters, Steph and Samantha.

The event took a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, and the passing of Brenda VanHouten.

This year’s event includes horseback riding, a petting zoo, roping, and much to Steph and Samantha’s delight, for the first time, music.


This is the second year the S.P.U.R.S event will take place without Brenda. Her daughters say the day is both happy and sad for them, but they like knowing that their community is being supported due to an event that their mother created with them in mind.

“If you could spend a day here, it’s amazing what this does for them. The smiles, the laughs the hugs, the thank yous, there’s not enough words to express what it does for me as a person to see what we have accomplished. For somebody else who doesn’t get to experience this,” Brenda’s friend Dawn Zuiderveen said.

Saturday’s S.P.U.R.S event is free for people with disabilities of all ages, thanks to the generosity of their sponsors, as well as all of the volunteers from the McBain community.

“When they leave, we hear that they talk about it, you know and in that in itself makes this just worth everything,” Zuiderveen said.


Zuiderveen has experienced firsthand the amazing working with animals does for the event’s attendees.

“When they’re on the back of a horse. That is therapy to them. The love that animal has for you... it does not matter who’s on the back of that horse that animal loves that person,” she said.

The free event begins at 12:30 and ends at 3:00 at Hughston’s Cow Camp in McBain on Saturday. A hot dog lunch will be provided. Participants must be accompanied by an attendant.

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