Lineman Rodeo shows off talent, emphasizes the importance of safety

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The Tennessee Valley lineman rodeo is a two-day competitive event started in 1998 by and for the employees of Tennessee Valley Authority power distributors.

This year the 20th annual Tennessee Valley lineman rodeo was held at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, June 9-10, 2017, in Huntsville.

The rodeo, which includes competitive events for apprentices, journeyman teams of three, individual linemen and senior individuals (age 45 and up) recognizes and rewards excellence in safety, skill and knowledge in their field.

The rodeo provides an opportunity for line workers to showcase their talents and for family and friends to show their support. Participants, spectators and sponsors continue to look forward to the rodeo as it cultivates a pride in the trade and a kinship among participants and attendees alike.

"This is kind of the work, simulates work we do in the field every day. It's a good training facility for younger apprentices coming up. It teaches them how to work safely and to be good linemen," said Adam Phillips, competitor. "It allows my kids to see what I do everyday and to see how everybody gets their power."

Not only is the rodeo a thrill for competitors, but also for the viewers-- whether you've been watching linemen your whole life or not.

"We love it. I mean, he loves his job so we love watching him compete. Every time he gets up there and climbs the pole, we can tell. I mean, we get nervous watching him do it, but we love watching him do it!" said Ashley Phillips.