Lockney man featured in “Ultimate Cowboy Showdown”
LIZ ADAMS | HESPERIAN-BEACON
When the second season of “Ultimate Cowboy Showdown,” hosted by country musician Trace Adkins and filmed in Edgewood, Texas, premieres on Wednesday, Feb. 24 on the INSP television channel, local viewers may spot a familiar face.
Lockney native Jackson Taylor will be featured along with nine other men and four women who will participate in challenges of wit and strength over the course of ten episodes in teams and individually. Each competitor will attempt to win his or her own herd that can be taken to market, a portable corral, a cattle chute, and a prize belt buckle.
Texas Panhandle cowboy Jackson Taylor is characterized in his biography as “daring by nature.” His years of work on large ranches in Texas, New Mexico and Montana and his self-described wild personality are likely to contribute to his successes as he strives to outdo his rivals. It will be tough competition indeed, with other bull riders, horse trainers, and experienced ranchers. Taylor and several other contestants have gained expertise passed down through their families for generations.
“I’m an everyday cowboy,” Taylor said in a promotional video for the show, “and that’s what I like best.”
Taylor spent much of his early childhood on the family ranch, learning from grandparents Joe and Virginia Taylor. He takes after his grandfather, who taught him as a teen to drive on dirt roads near Quitaque. He said he has always looked up to his dad, as well.
According to Greg Taylor, his son is “full of energy.—never met a stranger,” adding that he is most proud of his tenacity. “He never gives up,” the senior Taylor said.
Although his parents moved from Lockney when he was thirteen, Taylor still remembers hanging out at Main Street Pizza in his hometown. He and his two sisters still frequently visit their parents, Greg and Cris Taylor, in Floydada, where his mother teaches elementary school.
Taylor said that he was grateful for the influence of a longtime friend and fellow cowboy from Memphis, Texas, named Willie McCleskey, whom he described as “one heck of a horseman.”
After earning a Ranching and Feedlot Operation Certificate from Clarendon College, Taylor began training horses. A good buddy discovered the website for Adkins’ show and urged Taylor to become a contestant. According to Taylor, people have always told him he was made for TV.
Although he wasn’t used to being surrounded by cameras and microphones, he went on the show to open more doors. Though it was initially overwhelming, Taylor said he was glad to get the chance to interact with people who come from a ranching background in other parts of the U.S. All the contestants were eager to grab any opportunities to chat with celebrity host Trace Adkins. Taylor said that despite all the new experiences, he has to be himself.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” said Taylor, along with advice to aspiring young cowboys: “When the going gets tough, just grit your teeth and keep going. We don’t know what the word quit means.”
“At the end of the day this is a competition, and I am here to win,” said Taylor.
Viewers can watch “Ultimate Cowboy Showdown” on Dish Network channel 259, DirecTV channel 364, Verizon FiOS channel 286, and AT&T U-verse channel 564.