By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
While the competitors in a television program showcasing cowboy skills and knowledge might technically be the focus of the series, this season’s location of Douglas will be the real star of the show.
The third season of the “Ultimate Cowboy Showdown” premiered Thursday night on INSP. The series features 14 male and female cowboys competing for a $50,000 herd of cattle, a belt buckle and a lifetime of bragging rights.
Craig Miller, INSP’s vice president of original programming, told Cowboy State Daily the show’s producers went looking for a shooting location that would fit with Western programming, which is why they chose the Powderhorn Ranch southewest of Douglas.
“INSP is the network for Westerns and Western-adjacent content, so we wanted to put our contestants in a setting where we could create scenes that looked as if they were filmed for a classic cowboy movie: big sky, unpredictable weather, rugged terrain,” he said. “Douglas has all the iconic Western imagery.”
“The Powderhorn Ranch provided a one-stop shop to film the competition,” Miller continued. “It had lots of land, a large indoor arena, barns, plenty of cattle and horses, and living quarters. We like to move the show to a new location every season but Wyoming will be tough to beat.”
The show is hosted by country singer Trace Adkins. Each week, competing cowboys and cowgirls take part in a challenge and are judged on their skills, knowledge, grit and enthusiasm. One by one, competitors will be eliminated until one is crowned the winner.
Despite being filmed in Wyoming, none of the cowboy competitors are from the state. The cowboys this season come from states including Colorado, Montana, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi.
The show’s second season was filmed in Texas.
INSP was actually founded in 1978 at the PTL (Praise the Lord) Network by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, but has gone through a series of name changes and rebrandings over the years. It now focuses on Western-themed programming, such as “Ultimate Cowboy Showdown,” “The Cowboy Way” and “Wild West Chronicles.”
The Powderhorn Ranch in Douglas is a fourth-generation ranching family that has a cow-calf operation, a quarter horse breeding program and regularly hosts guests.