Local “Electric Cowboys” to Compete at International Rodeo

Placeholder image


Fla., October 15, 8:15 am — The best linemen from Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) have

joined linemen from other utilities around the world to participate in their very own

version of the rodeo. And in a profession where a mistake can mean disaster or death, their

combination of skill, safety and speed will prove crucial in the annual competition.
The 20th Annual International Lineman’s Rodeo & Expo begins Thursday and continues through

Saturday in Bonner Springs, Kansas. The rodeo attracts the best linemen from around the

world to compete in events based on traditional lineman tasks. The first rodeo was held in

September 1984, with twelve participating teams from utilities in Kansas and Missouri. The

rodeo has grown now to over 236 three-man teams and more than 260 apprentices from across

the U.S. and around the world.
Aaron Haderle, Bruce Thompson, and Joe Watson make up KUA’s three-man team, with Mike

Fulmore serving as alternate. Jamie Boswell is competing individually in the apprentice

competition. Bill Groover and Alberto Mercado are serving as support personnel and judges at

the event.
The team competitions consist of four timed events: a pole climb in which participants must

hold a raw egg in their mouths, hurt-man rescue and two mystery events. Participants will

not know the nature of the mystery events until just before the rodeo begins. The apprentice

competition includes the timed events as well as a written test. All areas of the

competition are conducted without the use of live electricity.
“The focus of the rodeo is for the participants to perform their skills in a technical,

proficient manner, with safety being the #1 priority,” said Chris Gent, KUA’s manager of

corporate communications. “The competition helps keep our linemen’s skill level high and

gives them a spirit of competition.”
More than 4,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event.
Founded in 1901, KUA is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility serving 61,000

electric, water and Internet customers in five Central Florida counties.
# # #
Contact: Chris Gent, Manager of Corporate Communications
(407) 933-7777 ext. 1116
[email protected]