Our Story

In 2008, Alberto Riccardi told Steven Proudfoot, Richard Laskey, Grant Greeff and Roberto (Alberto’s younger sibling) that they would be riding with him and Cordi Van Niekerk at the 947. This journey was inspired by the memory of little Jessica Bain who had whispered her final farewell to the world at the tender age of twenty months, on 27 February 2008. Jessica’s parents, Grant and Kerrin, would ride the race in CHOC gear. Cordi and Alberto had worked with Kerrin at IQ Group and were the booster rockets behind this cause and the honouring of a young life cut too short. That’s the original team in the picture below at the end of the ride.

 CHOC helped the Bain’s massively with support during their impossible time. It was agreed to do the race to honour Jessica with any money raised going to CHOC which helps kids and families with cancer.

 Richard Laskey, with his impressive CV of running and riding ultras in various outfits, proposed that the team would ride an ice cream bike to tug on the heartstrings of donors. So an ice cream bike was procured. We thought suits would help our cause. After meeting resistance from the fancy dress hire shop that wouldn’t relinquish animal farm outfits for a cycling race, we settled on cow suits – the only matching outfits we could find. This turned out to be a serendipitous choice.

 A few days before the race our motley crew ambushed the 947 radio station, where the radio host, Jeremy Mansfield, graciously allowed us to be interviewed to help spread the word.

 Cordi roped in De Wet Goosen, a cyclist of certain prowess, to help pull the ice cream bike with Richard at the helm. (Destiny would later cast De Wet as the captain of the Apocalypse Cows, a legend waiting its turn to be told).

 We dreamed that R60,000 would be a good mark for our fundraising ambitions. Yet, as life often reveals, the ripples of kindness extend far beyond what we imagine. We ended up raising R230,000.

 That’s how The Cows started. Ignited by love and enthusiasm. Very little planning. The rest is history.

Who Are the Cows?

How It Started

The Cows were started in 2008 by a group of eight enthusiastic cyclists keen to make a difference by raising funds for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation. The founder members joined Kerrin and Grant Bain in cycling the 947 Cycle Challenge in memory of their 20-month-old daughter, Jessica, who had recently died from cancer. As CHOC had played a significant role in the Bain family’s life, the decision was to make CHOC the sole beneficiary of their quest. They decided to don cow suits (Because that was the only animal suit they could hire 8 of!) And they succeeded in raising R230K in just over a week!!!

From There…

In 2009, the herd gained momentum and grew to an incredible 140 energetic cows. Just two years later, the Herd numbered a staggering 350 cows all riding for a purpose. 12 years later, thousands of people have participated in all kinds of events wearing cow suits. Some of the highlights are: The Comrades Marathon,Midmoo Mile, Ironman, ABSA Cape Epic, Sweeping at the Nissan Trail seeker series, Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, 36One, Oxpecker and even Kilimanjaro!

Until Today

To date the Cows have raised over R44 million for specific projects implemented by CHOC. The Cows brand is prominent in many sporting events in South Africa. With these funds that the Cows raise, CHOC is able to make a difference to the children being treated for cancer throughout South Africa.

Some Cow Facts…

A Cow is….

  • A swimmer in Cow print costume,
  • A cyclist in Cow print cycle gear, top and shorts, or
  • A runner in Cow Print running gear, top and shorts, or
  • A triathlete in Cow Print Tri-gear, or
  • Anyone who chooses a sporting challenge & wears Cow print gear,
  • Anyone who want to raise funds for The CHOC Cows in any way.
  • In other words, ANYONE can be a Cow!

Consider this the first spark. Don t take the easy way. There is no easy way!
One herd; one quest: to make a difference to children with cancer.