The International Lineman’s Rodeo (ILR) returned to Kansas City for its 39th year, showcasing and testing the skills of the “best of the best” journeyman and apprentice linemen from around the world. This year’s Rodeo was the largest in history, with 292 Journeyman teams and 440 apprentices all vying for one of the top spots.
“Year after year, the rodeo gets bigger and better, with more competitors and spectators filling the grounds,” said IBEW 1245 Business Rep Casey Barker. “This was my tenth year as a judge at the Rodeo, fourth as a chief judge, and first year as lead chief judge for the apprentice pole climb. It gives me a great sense of pride to be able to represent IBEW Local 1245 each year. I take pride in my union, craft, and my ability to fairly judge each competitor, regardless of their company or union affiliation. It is exciting to take part in such a large-scale celebration of the trade.”
The Rodeo included the events that long-time competitors and spectators know and love – including the dramatic Hurtman Rescue and exciting Pole Climb — along with two mystery events that are revealed at the start of the Rodeo.
The competition was stiffer than ever, but, true to form, IBEW 1245 linemen still brought home plenty of hardware. Congratulations to the IBEW 1245 members who nabbed a coveted trophy (or two) at the Rodeo:
- JP Richard, Adam Beene and Anthony Albright from PG&E won Fourth Place Overall, “Best of the Best” and Second Place Overall in the Investor-Owned Utility Division
- Jacob Hunt, Brandon Gloria, and David Angove (a ‘hybrid’ team of IBEW 1245/PG&E and Local 47/SoCalEdison members) took Fourth Place Overall in the Investor-Owned Utility Division and First Place in the Pole Climb
- Stephen Koenig, Jordan Chen and Logan Schaffer from PG&E won Second Place in Mystery Event #2
- Brandon Dance, Francisco Flores and Dustin Curry from PG&E won Fifth Place in the Hurtman Rescue
- Cody Jackson from PG&E won Fifth Place Overall in the Investor-Owned Utility Division
- Sam Peck from PG&E won Fourth Place in the Hurtman Rescue
- Jonathon Pacheco from PG&E won Fifth Place on the Written Test
“This was another good year for IBEW 1245 competitors,” said 1245 Business Rep Ryan Skelton. “I love seeing how the Rodeo is becoming more and more of a family event, with little kids walking around, watching and cheering the linemen on. Before long, they will be the competitors out there climbing and hot sticking! It’s all about the next generation, and this event does a great job showcasing just that.”
Photos by John Storey