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SEC Linemen Take Honors in Regional ‘Rodeo’ Competition


CONTACT: Allan Sharrett
V.P., Public & Member Relations
(800) 552-2118, ext. 3211



CREWE, Va – Line workers from Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) recently competed in the 13th Annual Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo, held March 27th  and 28th  at the Caroline County Agricultural Fairgrounds in Ruther Glen, Va.

SEC’s journeyman lineman team of Brad Ashwell, Greg Ayers and Steve Carson placed first out of 30 teams in the Hurt Man Rescue and Pin Insulator Change-Out events, and third in the Double “Dead-End” Insulator Change-Out event. The journeyman team of Travis Layne, Brandon Rust and Ashley Tuck also performed well, finishing fifth place in the overall competition. SEC linemen Trevor Robertson, Justin Wood and Jeremy Cranford also competed this year in the journeyman team category.

With a record 55 competitors in the apprentice lineman division, SEC’s Blake Poindexter placed third in the Hurt Man Rescue competition, while fellow apprentice Will Southworth finished fourth in the overall competition. Nick Chumney and Daniel Boney also represented SEC in the competition. 

In addition, SEC employees Michael Bender, Edward Bethel, Orlin Clarke, Darryl Dinwiddie, Gary Gibbs, Tony Powell and Ralph Self (retired) served as judges for the rodeo’s competitive events. SEC’s Gaff-n- Grill team, “Line and Swine,” finished third in an informal barbecue-cooking contest, held this year for the first time.  The Grill team’s “results” were served as dinner to the hard-working event judges.

This year’s rodeo competition attracted more than 150 utility workers from seven states. The only event 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. All performances are timed and scored by the judges, who consider safe work practices the most important factor throughout the competition.

“The Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo promotes safety and teamwork,” noted Jeff Edwards, SEC president & CEO. “We are proud that our line workers excelled in this year’s rodeo events. The job they do to ‘keep the lights on’ for our members is a dangerous one. Despite working in all types of weather to restore service, SEC linemen have maintained our co-op’s outstanding record of safety. At the end of the day, returning these guys safely to their families is the most important thing we can accomplish.”

Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) is a not-for-profit member-owned energy provider that serves over 55,000 homes, farms and businesses in portions of 18 counties in central and southern Virginia. Headquartered in Crewe, SEC has district offices in Altavista, Crewe, Dinwiddie and Powhatan. For more information, go to or visit us on Facebook or Twitter. For event results and photos from this year’s Gaff-n-Go competition, visit