You know, you never did tell me how you met that Bill Williamson, or what you wanted from him.

Bonnie MacFarlane

No, miss, I did not.

John Marston

Obstacles in Our Path is the third mission in Red Dead Redemption.

To view the mission tree, see:

Main article: Missions in Redemption/Tree


Bonnie asks John of his connection to Bill Williamson but John would rather not talk about that time, lest it bring trouble. Bonnie then insinuates that a city man like John must have some exotic secrets, but John responds saying "no city man". Bonnie then challenges him to a horse race, and afterward suggests that he see the Sheriff in Armadillo.


Mission Prerequisites

Before this mission becomes available, the player must complete:

Mission Objectives

To complete this mission, the player must:

  • Mount up and meet Bonnie at the race starting point.
  • Race Bonnie through the waypoints.

Mission Details

In this mission, John gets to race with Bonnie MacFarlane and is introduced to horse riding, a fundamental element of the game. There is not a lot of story in this mission as it's more of a tutorial.

Race Bonnie. The player has to follow a path marked by beacons of smoke, which can also be seen on the radar map. The player may experience problems like being thrown from the horse if it's overworked or the horse turning by itself, so keep an eye on the blue stamina meter. Just follow the marks until the end. The mission does not fail if the player loses.

Mission Dialogues

Main article: Obstacles in Our Path/dialogues


Whether the player loses or wins the race, the reward is 20 fame.

Mission Failure

The mission will fail if the player:

  • Assaults Bonnie.
  • Kills his own or Bonnie's horse.
  • Gets too far behind Bonnie.
  • Leaves MacFarlane's Ranch.
  • Abandons the race.
  • Breaks the law.
  • Kills a dog.
  • Commits vandalism.
  • Assaults or kills townsfolk.
  • Dies.

Gold Medal Objectives

  • Fastest Time: 3:05

Mission Complete Unlockables


  • Interestingly, apart from the three racing missions given to you during the story ("Obstacles in Our Path"; "Liars, Cheats and Other Proud Americans"; "The Sport of Kings, and Liars"), the opportunity to race never presents itself again in single player. However, racing is available in the Grand Prix multiplayer game mode as part of the Liars and Cheats DLC.
  • It is somewhat difficult to beat Bonnie considering Marston's horse's low stamina, but it can be done. No extra bonus is rewarded for beating her.
    • One way of beating her is pacing the use of spurs. This means the player's horse isn't over-worked and can run at a good speed for the duration of the race.
  • The conversation will change depending on how the race is going, this means that there are two different speech tracks.
  • Just before the second bridge, the player's horse may veer off to the side and off the cliff, killing both the horse and the player. This will only happen if the horse is running at top speed. Slower moving horses will not veer off. This may be deliberate however, as in reality horses wary of oncoming obstacles such as jumps would naturally bolt or veer off to one side to avoid them. This being deliberate is unlikely though, considering horses in-game do not veer or bolt to the side of 'jumpable' objects. In fact, the only time horses move of free-will while being ridden in the game is before a dangerous and sudden decline, whinying loudly and veering away.
  • There is a bug at the end of this level. Once the player finishes, he will be stuck by the lamppost. Only the start button has a function.
  • There is a noticeable error in Bonnie's dialogue while the player and her are lining up for the beginning of the race; Bonnie says 'On the count of three...3.2.1. Go!'. 'On the count of three' is defined as the event about to proceed begins 'on the count of three' - the participants would start as the number three is spoken (probably from counting up from one).
  • Although beating Bonnie is somewhat hard considering the horse's low stamina, when playing the Game of the Year Edition, beating Bonnie is easier since the player was given the War Horse in the previous mission.
  • Immediately after the ending cutscene, John smokes a cigarette. This is the very first time that a Rockstar Games protagonist has ever smoked in-game.
    • There is a cheat in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City that gives the protagonist a cigarette, but he does not smoke through the game using regular means.


Video Walkthroughs


Completing this mission contributes toward the following Trophy/Achievement:

100 gamerscoreGamerscore
Gold goldGold
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.

Red Dead Redemption mission walkthroughs
New Austin Chapter
"Exodus in America""New Friends, Old Problems""Obstacles in Our Path""This is Armadillo, USA""Women and Cattle""Wild Horses, Tamed Passions""A Tempest Looms""The Burning"
"Political Realities in Armadillo""Justice in Pike's Basin""Spare the Rod, Spoil the Bandit""Hanging Bonnie MacFarlane""The Assault on Fort Mercer"
"Old Swindler Blues""You Shall Not Give False Testimony, Except for Profit""Liars, Cheats and Other Proud Americans""Can a Swindler Change His Spots?""The Sport of Kings, and Liars"
"Exhuming and Other Fine Hobbies""A Gentle Drive with Friends""Let the Dead Bury Their Dead"
"A Frenchman, a Welshman and an Irishman""Man is Born Unto Trouble""On Shaky's Ground""We Shall Be Together in Paradise"
New AustinNuevo ParaisoWest ElizabethMarston RanchRemember My Family
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