Four episodes in and “The Cowboys” are still in it to win it in ABC’s 24th season of The Amazing Race. This latest Race marks Jet and Cord McCoy’s third time competing. In Season 16, the brothers finished just shy of the $1 million purse, while in Season 18, they came in sixth.
“They definitely named it right – it is amazing. Just the experience you get is unbelievable,” said Cord McCoy, husband of Upper Iowa University 2008 alumna and former Peacock basketball player Sara Best McCoy. “You get to share the world with over 30 million people a week, which is pretty cool!”
“We try to get in and get out as fast as we can. We kind of run past (sites) and when we get home and we’re watching it on TV, we go ‘Wow! We were right beside that place,’” he added. “Jet and I have been near some of the ‘wonders of the world’ and we’ve run right past them. So it’s great to get to watch it on TV after it is over.”
Jet and Cord are fulltime cowboys, ranching in Oklahoma. Cord just retired last year as a professional bull rider for the PBR circuit. When they’re not racing around the world, they are often found riding in a truck or on horseback. Cord and Sara work side-by-side on their ranch where they raise cattle, horses and bucking bulls for competition. Cord also has his own spot on RFV-TV called “The Ride with Cord McCoy,” which airs on Tuesdays on the rural channel.
The Cowboys have been fan favorites since their debut in Season 16 with their favorite exclamation of “Oh my gravy!”
However, they initially did not make the cut for the currently-airing 24th All-Star season after they were asked to reapply. A week after they received notice they would not be racing for a third time, they got a call. “The producers of the show said they had submitted their list of Racers to CBS, and CBS wanted to know where the cowboys were,” said Sara.
For 30 days straight, Amazing Racers are constantly on the go competing in each leg for chances to win once-in-a-lifetime trips and a shot at a $1 million. During Season 16, Cord and Jet won a trip to Maui, which Cord and Sara used as their honeymoon destination once he returned from the Season 18 Race. “We were married one day, and I had to leave (to Race),” Cord said. “Jet always jokes with me that I have a major life event every time that we race.”
Sara and Cord met on her last weekend of interning in Oklahoma for UIU alumnus and Board of Trustee chair Bob Firth. Sara and a friend, Hailie Young ’09, had made plans to attend a PBR rodeo event in Tulsa, Okla. Before she went, Sara was talking with her father on the phone. He told her that Cord McCoy might be riding and she should look for him since he knew his father, who was also a native Iowan.
Sara admitted that she normally wouldn’t have introduced herself, but she was driven to say hello to Cord and to tell him that her dad says hi to his dad. “I thought, ‘Who are you?’” laughed Cord. The pair struck up a conversation and kept in touch as Sara returned to her family’s ranch in southwestern Iowa. In 2009, they were engaged and married in 2010.
“’The Amazing Race’ is so much like life,” said Cord. “You never expect what the challenges are going to be. They’re pretty good about throwing curveballs your way.”
So far this season, Cord and Jet have traveled to China where Cord performed five high-wire flips over 300 feet in the air propelling the team to win the season’s Express Pass; then, dazzled the audience with a quick and creative slip-kick combo to save the pair’s feather ball game. In episode three, Cord and Jet flew to Sabah, Malaysia Borneo, and fans watched as Cord missed grabbing the clue on the first trip rapelling down the rushing waterfall, but made great time on the bamboo raft competition to come from sixth place to second. Then, fans watched on the edge of their seats as Cord was challenged by the bamboo trampoline. On his 47th jump, he snatched the flag, to the relief of fans everywhere. In Kuala Lumpur, Jet shined in the ‘Master Mix’ competition that proved to be a lot harder than it looked for the rest of the teams. Finishing first in that leg of the race, the Cowboys took first again and won a trip to London.
What will happen next? Did they make it all the way to the end? Only Jet and Cord know, and they are not telling!
You have to watch it for yourself. Watch “The Amazing Race” on CBS Sundays at 8/7c.