2017 International Lineman's Rodeo
09:08 AM

Jackson EMC Linemen Rank Among World’s Best at International Rodeo

(JEFFERSON, GA. Oct. 15, 2017) Jackson EMC lineman Kaleb Chapman won three first place events at the 2017 International Lineman’s Rodeo, held Oct. 11-14 in Bonner Springs, Kansas. The event attracts the best linemen in the world to compete in events based on traditional linemen tasks and skills. A group of Jackson EMC linemen also earned third place honors in the overall journeymen linemen team category.

This year’s event was the largest lineman’s rodeo in history with 1,037 competitors participating. In total, 238 teams of journeymen linemen and 313 apprentices competed in a series of four events on Saturday, Oct. 14, looking for a possible 100 points per event and the fastest time.

The events for the international competition included: hurtman rescue, pole climb, cross arm change out, shunt splice, slack block making, insulator change as well as a written test for apprentices.

Chapman, an apprentice lineman from Gainesville, earned top honors at the 34th Annual International Lineman’s Rodeo with a first place finish in the hurtman rescue with a time of 43 seconds. He also finished first in the pole climb, 21 seconds; and insulator change event with a time of 5 minutes, 38 seconds. He received no point deductions. Chapman placed eighth overall in the apprentice division. Also competing for Jackson EMC in the Apprentice Division were: Josh Hallock, Lawrenceville; Kasey Odom, Jefferson; and Austin Yearwood, Lawrenceville.

In the Rural Electric Cooperative Division, Jeff Sutton, Jeremy Adams and Wayne Connell, all of Oakwood, finished in third place as a journeyman team with a combined time of 24 minutes, 34 seconds. Shannon Love, Clay Phillips and Justin Cash, all of Jefferson, finished in sixth place overall as a journeyman team with a combined time of 33 minutes, 14 seconds. Both teams earned the full 400 points.

Brett Hurst, of Oakwood, was part of a team that placed fifth in the overall senior division. Hurst participated on a team from Snapping Shoals EMC that included his brother, Victor Hurst.

The first lineman’s rodeo was held in September 1984, with 12 participating teams from Kansas and Missouri.

Competition events exhibit skill and safety:

Hurtman Rescue: Simulates the rescue of an injured worker stranded at the top of a utility pole.

Pole Climb: Linemen climb a pole with a raw egg in a bag and then descend with the egg in their mouth. Any crack in the shell is a deduction in points.

Cross Arm Change (team): Team removes an existing cross arm and hoists a new cross arm as a replacement.

Shunt Splice (team): Team makes a repair to a phase conductor around a simulated damaged area in the wire.

Slack Block Making (apprentice): Ropes and pulleys tied intricately together to use when repairing lines.

Insulator Change (apprentice): Linemen throw a gathered rope 30 feet in the air and thread it through lines of wire 18 inches apart, then climb a utility pole to change out two pin-top insulators.

Videos of some of the competitions are available on the Jackson EMC Facebook page at

Photos from the event are available here:

Complete results from this year’s event are available here: