Chown C Quarter Circle Ranch
by Marilyn Short

Have you ever had to plan a horse show, family reunion, wedding, retreat, conference, or try to find a qualified summer camp for your kids? The next time you’re pulling your hair out trying to find someplace that can fit the varied interests of a group of people, look into the Chown C Quarter Circle Ranch of Gainesville, Texas.

This beautiful and unique Texas cattle and horse ranch sits on 502 acres and is owned by Clarence and Mary Jean Chown. The Chowns purchased the ranch property in 1993 with the idea of building a family camp. For 36 years the Chowns owned and operated Rawhide, a children’s camp outside of Bonsall, California. With approximately 30,000 riding lessons being given each year, the Chown’s are experts on kids horsemanship programs, and were also recognized by the California Board of Education for their 2-year vocational college at Rawhide. The 2-year program offered classes in Practical Veterinary Medicine, Farm and Ranch Management, Horsemanship, Breeding, and Farm Shop.

The construction of C Quarter Circle Ranch has taken 9 years and still continues. The facilities are right out of a Western movie where you’ll find a Carriage House, Rodeo Café, Buffalo Bill Theatre, Pool Side Trophy Room and Library, Pavilion, Horse Show Barn, Pioneer Schoolhouse and Horse Corrals, Settlement Bunkhouses, Lone Oak Church, Star Hotel, Jail and Sheriff’s Office, Miss Ellies, Big Oak Lodge and the Cowboy Camp.

The Chowns have planned their guest accommodations to fit a variety of tastes.
The 7 bunkhouses of the ranch sleep 12-18 each for a total of 106+ - perfect for camps, youth retreats or large group events.

The Star Hotel has 11 rooms, all of which are uniquely designed to honor Western silver screen heroes such as John Wayne, Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry. The hotel also houses a museum of western history and a ballroom that’s perfect for shows, dances, or receptions.
Miss Ellies is an exquisitely furnished hotel type room that sleeps 2 and has a kitchenette and a balcony that overlooks the arenas and Cowboy Park.

The Jail and Sheriff’s Office is another hotel type room with private bath and sleeps 2.
The Big Oak Lodge has 3 rooms, the Cowboy Room, the Celebrity Room and the Indian Room. All of the rooms in the Big Oak Lodge have kitchenettes and a great fishing pond in front of the Lodge.

The Rodeo Café houses rodeo chutes and over 200 pictures of some of the greatest athletes of rodeo. It’s a great tribute to those who have
contributed to the excitement and success of rodeos. The Rodeo Café would be the perfect place to hold a family or corporate event.

The Church is 102 years old and was relocated to the C Quarter Circle Ranch and restored to its original condition. Many couples have taken advantage of its uniqueness and been married there!

The Pavilion houses a 100 x 200 covered arena and includes a PA system, and can be leased for horse shows, clinics, demonstrations, camps and more.

If nature hikes, fishing, or outdoor activities aren’t for you, then visit the Pool Side Trophy Room and Library. The Library houses books and articles dating back to 1959. If you get tired of reading you can take a cool dip in the pool. You can also go shopping at the C Quarter Circle Saddlery for saddles, bridles, bits, spurs and much more!

Because of the Chowns vast experience with children’s camps, any camp at the C Quarter Circle Ranch is lively and fun. The horsemanship program is the perfect tool to learn ethics, self-discipline, respect, and morals. The kids learn to take care of the animals, which include Quarter Horses, llamas, Belgian draft horses, a yak, ponies, Longhorns, rabbits, donkeys and chickens!

The C Quarter Circle Ranch hosts Weekend Horsemanship Camps the first full weekend of each month until June 1st, when the week long sessions for summer will begin. For more information about the C Quarter Circle Ranch you can call 940-668-2855, email: or visit:

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