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Linemen take part in regional rodeo

Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC) employees joined nearly 150 utility professionals from five states at the 15th Annual Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo, held May 19-20 at Meadow Event Park in Doswell.

According to a CVEC press release, apprentice lineman Dale Richardson and Steven Matney competed in five different events as part of the apprentice competition, with Matney finishing third out of all competitors in the Hurt Man Rescue event.

“In the Journeyman Competition, the CVEC team of David Noble, Brandon Hudson and Brute Gardener achieved consistently high scores in five different events, including a crossarm changeout, failed underground line and climbing skills, to finish third overall,” officials said in the release.

The release cited that lineman Matt Wilbun and Safety and Training Specialist Randy Golladay served as volunteer judges for this year’s event, while retired CVEC employee C.T. Bryant continued to co-chair the Gaff-n-Go Rodeo Working Group.

“Begun by CVEC 15 years ago and named for the spike linemen attach to their boots when climbing electric utility poles, the Gaff-n-Go Rodeo is organized by the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC),” officials said in the release. “The only competition of its type in the Mid-Atlantic region, the Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo offers professional linemen the opportunity to demonstrate their technical skills as they perform a variety of designated electric line-work tasks.”

According to the release, their performances are timed and scored, with safe work practices the most important factor in judging.

“The job these linemen do to ‘keep the lights on’ for our members is a dangerous one,” said Gary Wood, CVEC’s president and CEO, in the release. “We’re proud to support an event that promotes the safety and teamwork so critical to this profession, and delighted that our linemen did so well in this year’s competition.”

Headquartered in Lovingston, Central Virginia Electric Cooperative is a member-owned electric-distribution utility serving more than 36,000 meters in 14 counties across central Virginia. For more information, visit www.mycvec.com. For more information and photos from this year’s event, visit www.gaff-n-go.com.