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Three co-op linemen to compete in rodeo

More than 150 line workers and volunteer judges from five states will gather this weekend for the 14th Annual Terex Gaff-n-Go Equipment Operator’s & Lineman’s Rodeo at Meadow Event Park in Doswell.

Working 40 feet above the ground on a course of utility poles, three apprentice linemen from Community Electric Cooperative in Windsor — Eric Galford, Jonathan Powell and Evan Wagensomer — will participate in the competition.

Competitors will demonstrate their technical skills as they perform a variety of work tasks during timed and scored events. Each team or individual will be judged on whether the task is performed according to safe and efficient work practices, as well as the time it takes to complete.

Two of Community’s seasoned linemen, Ricky Brame and Steve Saunders, will serve as judges for the competition.

Today’s lineman is a multi-talented professional working in a dangerous environment that requires consistent work practices and a constant focus on safety. The Gaff-n-Go provides an opportunity for linemen to compete in a challenging environment demonstrating the skills that are required in their everyday work.

Linemen from cooperatives, investor-owned utilities, municipals and contractors will participate in the competition.

Saturday has been declared “Electric Utility Lineman Day” by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. Parking as well as admission are free both days, with a food vendor on site. Families can also enjoy a petting zoo, face-painting and balloon-artist activities from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday.

For more information and directions to Meadow Event Park, visit www.gaff-n-go.com. Facebook fans can check out photos from previous years and find out the latest news at www.facebook.com/gaffngo.