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Storm Soldiers Compete

Annual lineworker rodeo comes to Doswell

May 2023

by Jim Robertson, Staff Writer

You won’t see any cowboys roping steers, no barrel racing, no one holding on for an 8-second ride on a bull. This is not your ordinary rodeo. It’s the annual Gaff-n-Go Lineworker Rodeo hosted by the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives May 19-20 at Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Va.

Journeyman teams and individual apprentices from electric cooperatives, investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities and contractors will demonstrate their skills and knowledge while competing for professional recognition. Last year, the event attracted more than 160 lineworkers from the East Coast who competed in a variety of traditional tasks of the trade.

Join us at this free family-friendly event o watch these highly skilled professionals demonstrate real-life scenarios they face on the job, including a simulated rescue of an injured lineworker at the top of a 40-foot pole.

“Working 40 feet above the ground on a course of utility poles, these professionals will be judged on whether a variety of tasks are performed according to safe and efficient work practices, as well as the time it takes them to complete each,” says Brian Mosier, president & CEO of the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives.

Top performers from the Gaff-n-Go Rodeo will compete at the International Lineman’s Rodeo in October in Kansas City, Mo.

Parking and admission are free, with local food trucks on-site. Visitors also will have a chance to be judges in the annual Cooperative Living magazine Youth Art Contest. This year’s theme is “Oh, How We Grow,” which will feature drawings of plants, flowers, crops and more. Be sure to vote for your favorite.

For more details, a complete schedule of events, and to download the free Gaff-n-Go app, visit gaff-n-go.com.