What happened on Ultimate Cowboy Showdown: All-Stars? Recap: Episode 1

Ultimate Cowboy Showdown: All-Stars
Recap Episode 1: All-Star Showdown

Judges: Trace Adkins, Buddy Schnaufer, and Booger Brown

The best-of-the-best cowboys from three seasons of Ultimate Cowboy Showdown arrive at the Flying E Ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona for a second chance at winning the grand prize: A herd of cattle worth $50,000, an Arrowquip Q-Catch Cattle Chute, the brand’s new Portable Heeler Corral, and more!

Host Trace Adkins welcomed from Season 1:

Ethan Treadwell (Snyder, Oklahoma)
Cuatro Houston (Devine, Texas)
Jared Lee (Picayune, Mississippi)
J Storme Birdwell (Hamshire, Texas)
Cody Brewer (Rickman, Tennessee)

From Season 2:

John Paul “JP” Gonzales (Pearsall, Texas)
Jackson Taylor (Lockney, Texas)
Roveskey “Fatty” Hickman (Shuqualak, Mississippi)
Tyler Kijac (Jay, Oklahoma)

From Season 3:

Eddie Peña (Lytle, Texas)
Sarah Foti (Crystal River, Florida)
Buck Faust (Prineville, Oregon)
Brianna Markum-McClain (Aquilla, Texas)
James “Diamond Jim” Smith (Dalhart, Texas)

As the cowboys reunited, old friendships revived, new rivalries erupted, old rivalries rekindled and a few resolved—but as they sized each other up, there was a feeling of camaraderie despite the cowboys’ competitiveness.

That camaraderie was soon put to the test in the first elimination challenge. Trace split the cowboys into two teams:

GOLD TEAM: Ethan, Tyler, J Storme, Jackson, Fatty, Diamond Jim, and Eddie.

GREEN TEAM: Buck, Sarah, Cuatro, Jared, Cody, JP, and Brianna.


The Challenge: Tag Your Herd
Objective 1: In a mixed herd of gold- and blue-tagged cows, the cowboys had to sort the 25 gold tags and then drive them through a gate into pasture 2.
Objective 2: In pasture 2, there were five untagged cows. The cowboys were tasked with roping those cows and tagging their ears with gold tags.
Objective 3: Drive the entire gold-tag herd into the Arrowquip corral.

The fastest team to complete the challenge would move on in the competition. One cowboy from the losing team would be sent home.


First up: Gold Team
Sort: The Gold Team showed a promising start as they sorted and rounded up the gold tags fairly quickly, but their lack of strategy had them scrambling when several of the cows scattered. Since they never assigned specific tasks to each other, everyone was riding after random cows in every direction, all shouting orders at each other. J Storme showed outstanding horsemanship as she expertly cut the blue tags trying to enter the gate with the gold tags. A new mom, she rode up until the day she went to the hospital to deliver her daughter and got back in the saddle and back to work right after. In this challenge, she didn’t miss a beat.
Rope & Tag: Though the team consisted of excellent ropers, this was not their day. Eddie looped a cow, but his line was so long, Diamond Jim couldn’t heel. Tyler came in for the rescue. Fatty was on fire, roping two. In his effort to run another down, Eddie galloped into deep muck and both he and his horse went down. Neither was hurt—just very muddy.
Drive: The round-up and drive to the pen was smooth


The Green Team:
The Green Team took the opposite approach. They assigned each other tasks according to their strengths. Jared, admitting his roping skills lacked in comparison to the others, volunteered to tag and work the gates. Their plan paid off, as they cut 5 gold tags from the herd in one turn! They kept their cool, staying focused and in control, and getting the work done as needed. They stayed in their assigned positions, and if they needed to move out for any reason (cows are unpredictable!), they immediately returned to their assigned jobs.
Rope & Tag: If the Gold Team was having a bad roping day, the Green Team showed them up in missed catches! But Buck made a swift move and threw a successful loop right in front of the judges—and they were impressed. For some unknown reason, Jared, who severely broke his leg in an encounter with a bull in Season 1, decided to run on foot to tag the cows. When JP roped the final cow, he stood waiting for Jared to arrive, wasting precious time.
Drive: The drive to the corral was smooth.

However, the chatter after the challenge was anything but cordial. Jared teased the cowboys about their less-than-stellar roping in the pasture and Sarah, who tends to be outspoken at the drop of a hat, did not take kindly to his comments.


In the Arena:
Tension was high as the cowboys faced Trace.
The Gold Team finished in 46 minutes.
The Green Team completed the challenge in 34 minutes and was safe from elimination.

However, it turned out, time was not the determining factor in the outcome of this challenge. The Gold Team herded only 24 of the 25 gold-tagged cows to the corral during the first leg of the challenge. Technically, they lost right then.

Trace reprimanded the Gold Team cowboys for sounding like they were all bosses yelling orders at each other and got on their cases for not counting the cattle in the pen. Buddy Schnaufer said he would fire every one of them if they worked for him.

Trace called out Eddie for riding into a mud-hole and falling off his horse. Surprised at being singled out, Eddie defended himself saying he was riding to fill a gap left by Ethan. Jackson sided with Eddie.

It was clear either Ethan or Eddie would be leaving the ranch. Trace asked Eddie to pack his personals.


Enjoy a digital encore of the Ultimate Cowboy Showdown season 4 premiere on INSP YouTube.