Cord McCoy
Cord McCoy with his wife, Sara.


Riding a bull requires practice, practice, practice! Hard to hit a 90 mph fast ball ’til you have swung a million times.

What most don’t know about me is I was the catcher for my high school baseball team in Oklahoma. I went to college at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford on a full ride for rodeo. I was also supposed to play baseball, but I broke my arm a week before the first practice.

Some of my best rides came when I was scared to death. Safest place in bull riding is on top.

When it comes to Old West history, I am amazed at how many things are still done on the ranch that no machine can do.

I organized a “Western Days” event because I wanted to share the Western way of life with the world by offering a place where everyone can be a cowboy for a week.

I proposed to my wife while being interviewed at the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada. I set it up with Flint Rasmussen, who was doing the interview. He got my girlfriend, Sara, on stage, then asked, “Cord, you wanna ask Sara anything?” As we stood in front of 1,000 people, I grabbed her hand, confessed my love for her and then took a knee, with a ring box opened up.

On The Amazing Race, I wore the same cowboy hat I got married in. I got married on Saturday, and I left to race around the world the next day. I was gonna take an old hat, but Sara told me I should wear the new one.

Being one team away from winning a million dollars felt ahhh, tough. My brother, Jet, and I raced 40,000 miles around the globe and ended up a couple minutes late. But after I got to go all the way around the world and see it all, and I stood on that finish line, the million dollars never crossed my mind.

I have no idea what happened to the sailboat I won on the show. They delivered them both while I was gone. I traded Jet my sailboat, and he sold it before I got to see it.

A cowboy can feel at home on the other side of the world. I don’t know how they all found out, but the whole world knows of cowboys. I got up and put my hat on in Shanghai, China, just like I do in Tupelo, Oklahoma.

I rode my first calf in a rodeo at age five in Gainesville, Texas. Growing up in rodeo taught me determination.

After almost dying when my skull was crushed by a saddle bronc in 2004, I returned to rodeo because I thought, “If I was gonna go out, I wanted to go out doing something I loved.”

I retired from professional bull riding in 2013, but I still watch every bull like I may have to get on him sometime.

What people don’t understand about ranch life is that there is no clocking out, cattle don’t know holidays and the worst day to be outside is when they need you the most.

Trail life today is similar to frontier days in that you can get a good taste of traveling in the old days—just saddle up.

The West is a relationship that keeps growing. The farther I go, the more I come back.

Wish I had a dollar for every time someone said, “Wish y’all won that race.”



Cord McCoy is a former professional rodeo cowboy and bull rider known around the world. He was a member of Team USA at the 2007 PBR World Cup in Australia. In 2010, Cord appeared with his brother, Jet, on CBS’s The Amazing Race. The brothers nearly won. They competed on the show two more times, and CBS fans named Cord and Jet “Best Dynamic Duo.” Cord retired from PBR in 2013. He and wife Sara raise ranch horses, commercial cattle and bucking bulls at their ranch in Tupelo, Oklahoma.

Related Articles

  • Max-McCoy_The-Spirit-is-Willing

    A Kansas native, the WWA Spur award-winning novelist Max McCoy was raised on the edge…

  • red-white-black-by-rick-steber

    Rick Steber needs little introduction to many readers of True West.  The author of more…

  • mtrimble_250

    What can you tell me about cowboy actor Tim McCoy? Ross Taylor Nashville, Tennessee Tim…