Ranch work is equal parts animal care, land management and jack-of-all-trades Western engineering.
That experience came in handy for the McCoy brothers during the third episode of Season 24 of â€śThe Amazing Race,â€ť the CBS-TV reality series. The brothers put their ingenuity to work during the Sunday, March 9, telecast that featured the teams racing around Subah, Malaysia Borneo.
Jet and Cord McCoy began the show in sixth place as the teams began from Guangzhou, China, leaving six minutes behind second-leg winners Brendon Villegas and Rachel Reilly. That was important, since only the first six teams to the airport were to be boarded on the first flight, which provided a three-hour head start to two-thirds of the nine teams remaining in the race.
Of course, The Cowboys hold the valuable Express Pass, their prize for winning the opening leg that enables them to skip a challenge along the race around the world for $1 million.
â€śWeâ€™re glad weâ€™re the only ones to have an Express Pass,â€ť Jet said.
The McCoys were awarded two Express Passes, but one was to be given to another team. They passed it along to The Country Singers, Jennifer Wayne and Caroline Cutbirth, who used it in Leg 2.
Though Villegas and Reilly held the lead to begin the race, they werenâ€™t among the first six teams to arrive at the Guangzhou airport and were forced to wait. That put them behind the eight-ball early, and the rest of the pack took advantage.
â€śJet and I have been in that same position,â€ť Cord said. You can be the â€śfirst ones to leave the mat, and the next thing you know, youâ€™re standing there, and youâ€™re last. Thatâ€™s the kind of deal that youâ€™ve got to pick yourself up and dust yourself off and catch back off.â€ť
The Cowboys have done that during their three chances on â€śThe Amazing Race.â€ť On Sunday nightâ€™s episode, they maneuvered their way to the Kionsom Waterfall, where Cord, as the assigned teammate, had to find a gnome, then work his way through the rainforest and down the waterfall to obtain the next clue.
â€śThose cotton jeans are going to weigh 50 pounds by the time he gets done with this,â€ť Jet said. â€śHeâ€™s going to be soaking wet.â€ť
Cord was. In fact, he attracted a little more water than the other teams because he was forced to do the task twice; the clues were along the path down the waterfall.
â€śThe clues were on my left, and I was looking over my right,â€ť Cord said. â€śI skidded all the way down the rocks, and the next think I know is Iâ€™m in a pool of water and realize I donâ€™t have the clue.â€ť
The delay couldâ€™ve been troublesome for some, but the McCoys took it in stride.
â€śCord having to redo this and having to go all the way back to the top â€¦ it cost us some time, but thatâ€™s alright,â€ť Jet said. â€śWeâ€™ll make up some time somewhere.â€ť
They did. In fact, it happened on the next challenge, where teams were to build a bamboo raft at the Kampung Tempinahaton to tackle one of two assignments on the Detour. The brothers from the southeastern Oklahoma community of Tupelo were fourth at the river, but they scooted past the mother-son tandem of Margie Oâ€™Donnell and Luke Adams by utilizing jack-of-all-trades engineering to create the raft.
â€śJet and I are kind of handymen around the ranch,â€ť Cord said.
The other teams have noticed.
â€śOnce the cowboys get on task, they are so fast,â€ť Oâ€™Donnell said. â€śThey blew us out of the water.â€ť
Third in the water, the cowboys utilized the help of The Afghanamals, Leo Temory and Jamal Zadran, to complete the Detour. Several of the teams, like The Afghanamals and The Cowboys, opted to deliver goods, while others took part in a faux hunting task. For The McCoys, they guided their raft to a make-shift port to deliver food to a village chief, and Temory and Zadran helped the brothers to their destination, though The Afghanamals were ahead of the brothers at that point.
The father-son tandem of Dave and Connor Oâ€™Leary were the first to arrive at all locations along the third leg of the race, but they passed their exit point off the river. They ended up hiking back to the village chief while carrying the groceries. They hiked back and beat the other teams to the end of the Detour.
That changed shortly after the teams returned to the river with their rafts. Temory and Zadran had trouble in the river, and their raft came apart in rough rapids. The McCoys, though, passed The Afghanamals on the water.
That made the difference in the outcome of the second leg. The Oâ€™Learys won the leg, while the McCoys placed second. They were followed by Temory and Zadran. Oâ€™Donnell and Adams placed fourth.
YouTube hosts Joey Graceffa and Meghan Camarena were the last to finish and were eliminated.
Paul David Tierney becomes 12th Timed Event champ
GUTHRIE, Okla. â€“ Thereâ€™s a changing of the guard at the Timed Event Championship of the World.
Paul David Tierney, a 24-year-old cowboy from Oral, S.D., roped, tied and wrestled 25 animals in 332.3 seconds to win his first gold buckle, the fifth Timed Event title for his family. His father, Paul, earned four championships over nearly three decades of competition.
â€śMy mom says I used to play around back there, so I guess I was pretty young the first time I came here,â€ť said Tierney, who earned $60,000 over three days of competition â€“ $50,000 for winning the average and another $10,000 for having the fastest go-round run, a 49.0. â€śI had a ton of fun this weekend.â€ť
The younger Tierney is still playing inside the Lazy E Arena, but heâ€™s doing it in the arena instead of behind the scenes. It came down the final steer of the competition to decide the championship of the â€śIronman of ProRodeo.â€ť Tierney, who had led since the third round, relinquished his advantage in the 24th run of this rugged test when he posted an 18.9-second steer wrestling run, just moments after his nearest competitor, 22-year-old Clay Smith, had scored a 5.7.
Smith took a 1.8-second lead into steer roping. When Tierney finished in 20.2 seconds, the championship was well within reach for the youngest competitor in this yearâ€™s field. Smith, though, broke the barrier on a 13.6-second run; that 10-second penalty pushed his time to 23.6 and pushed him to second place, finishing in a cumulative time of 333.9 seconds.
â€śI love the Timed Event,â€ť said Smith of Broken Bow, Okla. â€śI tried not to get in a hurry on anything, then I break the barrier. I shouldâ€™ve been a little smarter than that.â€ť
It overshadowed an amazing performance by the top young guns in the competition. With past champions K.C. Jones of Burlington, Wyo., and Daniel Green of Oakdale, Calif., among the top five, the top three cowboys all were relative newcomers to this unique contest: third-place finisher Russell Cardoza of Terrebonne, Ore., is just 27 years old.
â€śYou just have to keep your head,â€ť Tierney said. â€śEven when it gets a little tight, just go make your run and see what happens.â€ť
Thatâ€™s the key to the Timed Event. The winner each year typically is the contestant who made the fewest mistakes through the five rounds of competition. By finishing second, Smith pocketed $25,000. Cardoza added $24,000 – $15,000 for his third-place finish, $5,000 and $4,000 for finishing third and fourth in the fastest rounds.
Not only are Tierney, Smith and Cardoza the future of the competition, they bring an educated approach to their games.
â€śThis might get some more young guys working on their stuff,â€ť Tierney said of the strong run by the younger contestants. â€śI think itâ€™s great for it.â€ť
He becomes just the 12th man in the 30-year history of the Timed Event Championship to own the prestigious gold buckle. His name will be etched alongside his father and the other 10 winners in rodeo lore.
AVERAGE: 1. Paul David Tierney, 332.3 seconds, $50,000; 2. Clay Smith, 333.9, $25,000; 3. Russell Cardoza, 344.2, $15,000; 4. K.C. Jones, 350.9, $10,000; 5. Daniel Green, 390.9, $7,500; 6. Clayton Hass, 404.7, $5,000; 7, Dustin Bird, 408.8, $4,500; 8. Landon McClaugherty, 425.4, $3,000.
FASTEST ROUND LEADERS: 1. Paul David Tierney, 49.0, $10,000; 2. Erich Rogers, 52.5. $6,000; 3. Russell Cardoza, 54.6, $5,000; 4. Russell Cardoza, 55.9, $4,000; 5. K.C. Jones, 56.7, $3,000; 6. Trell Etbauer, 56.8, $2,000.
RECORD RUN: Spencer Mitchell, 4.3 seconds in heading, $3,000.
TOTAL PAYOUT: 1. Paul David Tierney, $60,000; 2. Clay Smith, $25,000; 3. Russell Cardoza, $24,000; 4. K.C. Jones, $13,000; 5. Daniel Green, $7,500; 6. Erich Rogers, $6,000; 7. Clayton Hass, $5,000; 8. Dustin Bird, $4,500; 9. (tie) Landon McClaugherty and Spencer Mitchell, $3,000; 11. Trell Etbauer, $2,000.