By: Keith Ryan Cartwright May 06, 2014@ 11:45:00 PM
FORT WORTH, Texas ― It was fitting that Cord McCoy and his older brother, Jet, started Sunday’s episode of “The Amazing Race: All Stars” on horseback.
Their third journey on the hit CBS series started with them on their horses working cattle in Oklahoma at the end of last summer when Cord got an unexpected call from producers asking if he and his brother would be interested in racing around the world a third time for a chance to win $1 million.
After nearly falling off his horse “in shock,” he replied, “Heck yeah.”
Although they’ve yet to win the race, the McCoy’s, who have affectionately become known as “The Cowboys,” are tied with Flight Time Lang and Big Easy Lofton of the Harlem Globetrotters for having participated in the most legs over the 24 seasons it’s been on the air.
Like the Globetrotters, Cord and Jet made their living by traveling.
So it comes with little surprise they’ve managed to hold their own in Season 16, Season 18 and again this season.
Cord said while it’s obvious they didn’t know what to expect the first time they participated, they quickly learned the second time around they “still don’t know what to expect” and that held true again this time competing.
The show continuously puts contestants in countries they’re unfamiliar with and situations where they’re faced with language and cultural barriers. More importantly, challenges they’re not all that good at.
It was exciting and challenging to say the least.
“It’s finding yourself and learning new traits every day,” Cord said.
Being cowboys and wearing their cowboy boots and their trademark hats never hindered their chances.
However, Cord said it certainly “hasn’t exactly helped” their cause either.
They were finally eliminated, this time in Spain during an episode ironically titled “Bull Down,” which featured the “running of the bulls.” Of course they didn’t really run with bulls, which probably would have given them an advantage, but instead they got into what Cord referred to as large “air-up balls and run into each other.”
He added, “It wasn’t real bulls.”
Cord likened it to the time they took part in chariot races in Rome, only that time they actually raced remote control chariots.
“If somebody would have sat at home a lot and played Nintendo, it would have helped them in the chariot race than actually riding a horse,” Cord said.
They learned that lesson the first time they were on the show and learned they were headed to Argentina to play polo.
Having spent their life on horseback, they thought for sure they’d have advantage only to find out they were “sitting on a sawhorse, which is just a wooden board.”
Cord said he’s never counted up how many countries they’ve been to over three seasons, especially given how often they “zig zag” from one country to another.
He simply looks at it as having completed a 40,000-mile race around the world three times.
“I never saw the same place twice, if that tells you anything,” he said.
According to Cord, the aptly titled series was an “amazing set of experiences” every time he and his brother opened up a new envelope with clues and directions for a new adventure.
However, after three separate races that last 30 days each, Cord said it’s ultimately made him appreciate what the United States has to offer.
“Not only the opportunities we have, but the freedoms,” he said. “I’m thankful to live where we live.”
None of the challenges were as challenging as the ones created back at home.
The first time they were asked, had the filming began any earlier than it did, Cord would have declined the invitation because it would have overlapped with the World Finals. The second time it was originally scheduled to start a week before his wedding and producers altered the filming schedule to include the McCoys.
This time, Cord said, “I’m lucky I married a cowgirl. She can run the ranch better than I can. Jet and I both can kind of drop everything and leave and not worry about stuff being taken care of.”
In a phone interview Monday afternoon, while hauling a newly purchased horse back to his ranch, Cord said the “coolest” aspect of all three seasons was not only racing alongside his brother, but the fact that it was documented and shared with the rest of the world.
He also noted that, for a lot of people, they lived vicariously through the brothers’ travel experiences – seeing the world’s shortest man and the tallest man in the same week, for example. Their trials and tribulations, as well as all their wins and losses from one adventure to another, were eventually shared with the millions of viewers who tuned in every Sunday night.
“It’s neat to think you get to be the pawn that moves people through the world, and, on the other hand, there are those experiences that only Jet and I get to share together,” Cord said. “It’s kind of a highlight reel of your life.”
They not only felt as though they were representing themselves and their family and friends, but all cowboys.
They did so by maintaining their composure.
That’s something they’re both proud of. According to Cord, “they try to crack you.” However, the best way to approach it is to plan on being tired, hungry and lost.
Sunday it came to an end.
Cord never thought he’d be on twice, much less three times, and said it’s not likely they’ll be asked to return a fourth time — “surely not.”
“I always wanted to ride off into the sunset,” McCoy concluded with regard to Sunday’s episode featuring them on horseback.
“Win or lose, I feel like our fans have our back. That’ll make you bow your chest out a little bit.”
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC
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