Feature
Texas Lineman’s Rodeo
Going above and beyond

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    From left, Rick Walden, David McDowell and Danny Moss of Farmers Electric Cooperative are the 45-and-older champions.
    Dave Shafer
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    Competition at the 2016 Texas Lineman’s Rodeo
    Dave Shafer
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    Jaice Sheffield of Farmers EC works with a high-reaching tool called a hot stick.
    Dave Shafer
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    Hamilton County EC’s Rhett Keith hoists son Amos.
    Dave Shafer
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    The New Braunfels Utilities barbecue team has high hopes for its brisket.
    Dave Shafer
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    The competition includes performing mock rescues of dummies representing injured linemen.
    Dave Shafer
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    Adam Gaston of Trinity Valley EC competes in the apprentice division.
    Dave Shafer
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    Web Extra: Apprentice lineman Jake Bauer of Mid-South Synergy competes in the three-phase transformer bank event.
    Dave Shafer
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    Web Extra: Lineman Daniel Craig of Deep East Texas EC hoists a ditty bag during the competition.
    Dave Shafer
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    Web Extra: Electric poles serve as flagpoles displaying the banners of participating organizations.
    Dave Shafer
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    Web Extra: Rodeo competition
    Dave Shafer
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    Web Extra: Jaice Sheffield, an apprentice at Farmers EC, pulls his gear in a wagon and carries his hot stick between events at the rodeo. He walks past a group of people watching their friends and family members compete.
    Dave Shafer
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    Web Extra: An array of ropes and gear hangs on a cart that linemen pull to transport equipment around the rodeo grounds.
    Dave Shafer
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    Web Extra: Barbecue smokers get an early start among the stately pecans at Nolte Island Park in Seguin. Attendees feast on barbecue after the competition, and 39 teams also enter their meat in the barbecue cook-off.
    Dave Shafer
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    Web Extra: Apprentice lineman Jacob Morrow from Guadalupe Valley EC competes in the three-phase transformer bank event while judge and journeyman lineman Jason Faucett from Bartlett EC inspects his work.
    Dave Shafer
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    Web Extra: Devices called climbers or hooks strap around a lineman’s legs and boots. They have sharp gaffs along the inner soles that dig into the wood, enabling lineman to more readily and safely climb poles.
    Dave Shafer
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    Web Extra: Rodeo competition
    Dave Shafer
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    Web Extra: Watermelon at one of the barbecue stations is free for the taking after the competition.
    Dave Shafer
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    Web Extra: A rodeo judge’s hard hat contains a message that is always foremost in linemen’s minds.
    Dave Shafer
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    Web Extra: Madonna Tondre of the Lone Star Barbecue Society watches over the judges during the brisket tasting. Greg Miller and his HILCO EC teammates won the brisket competition and were voted barbecue grand champions.
    Dave Shafer

It’s Rodeo Day

The annual Texas Lineman’s Rodeo in Seguin brings out the competitive drive among linemen, and it brings out family and friends to cheer on their favorite linemen. After the competition, the day turns into a huge family picnic.

Rodeo Results

The rodeo featured 119 apprentices and 45 journeyman teams—not to mention 39 teams entered in the barbecue cook-off. Find all the results online at the Texas Lineman’s Rodeo Association website.

More than 250 electric linemen challenged themselves in tests of skill July 16 at the Texas Lineman’s Rodeo in Seguin. Every event demanded that competitors race the clock and pass the scrutiny of the judges, who scored the linemen on proper technique and safety requirements.

When the competition ended, the linemen joined their families to celebrate with a Texas-sized barbecue cook-off.

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Tom Widlowski is the Texas Co-op Power associate editor.