Cole Wideman is proud to be a Lott native.
“I’m like a sixth-generation ranch hand and we’ve been here ranching forever,” Wideman told the Telegram. “For the past 20 years, I’ve had the same job in the same place ... ever since I was old enough to draw a check.”
On Feb. 24, the 36-year-old rancher’s expertise will be on display in the Ultimate Cowboy Showdown — a television show in which 14 cowboys, including men and women, compete in a series of challenges in Terrell, Texas.
The program, in its second season on INSP, will premiere at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24.
“Viewers will watch 14 strong-willed cowboys undergo a series of grueling physical and mental challenges that will test them individually and as teams … for a life-changing prize,” Tina Helms, an INSP spokeswoman, said in a news release.
Wideman — whose family operated a 1,200-acre cattle operation — said it was a privilege to compete in the competition, adding that it is not often “working cowboys” are recognized for their skillset.
“I see it as a privilege to get out there and let everybody know what the world of ranching is all about,” he said. “A lot of people see it as traveling around in a truck or on a horse. … But in reality there’s a lot more to it. It’s a pretty tough job.”
Wideman said his competitors were well matched, and noted how his ability to easily adapt helped him throughout the competition.
“I catch stray cattle for the Falls County Sheriff’s Department,” he said. “When you catch cattle in different situations, you have to be able to adapt. That’s what helped me in the competition more than anything.”
But Wideman credited Zane Runyan, the series’ first winner, for his appearance in the second season.
“We’re good friends, so he pushed me to apply and try to get my foot in the door,” he said.
If Wideman is the last cowboy standing, the Lott native will walk away with a ranching prize package.
“The last cowboy standing will walk away with a prize package that includes a herd they can take to market, a Rawhide Portable Corral, an Arrowquip Q-Catch 87 Series Cattle Chute, the Ultimate Cowboy Showdown belt-buckle and a lifetime of bragging rights,” Helms said.