Duke Energy

Duke Energy’s Florida Lineman’s Rodeo Qualifies 15 Local Lineworkers to Compete in International Event

March 11, 2024
Regional Lineman’s Rodeo events test job skills critical to power delivery and restoration.

At a competition powered by skill and packed with competitors, 15 Duke Energy Florida lineworkers recently secured spots to compete among the most elite lineworkers in the world this fall at the International Lineman's Rodeo. 

Duke Energy’s Florida Lineman’s Rodeo in Winter Garden, Florida, was one of three regional Lineman’s Rodeos that will take place this spring across Duke Energy’s service areas, displaying the talent and skills of the company’s dedicated lineworkers. Lineman’s rodeos are specialized contests that test job-related skills line technicians rely on daily to restore power day and night – often in unpredictable outdoor conditions. Events take place on de-energized equipment in a simulated environment, but participants are scored based on simulations of on-the-job work, with deductions for mistakes. Competitors are judged on efficiency, agility, technique and safety procedures. 

Categories scored included equipment repair, pole climbs and hurt man rescues. Duke Energy holds three regional competitions to qualify lineworkers for the international competition – including in the Carolinas, Florida and the Midwest. 

The Florida rodeo this year included one senior team, 11 journeyman teams and nearly 80 apprentices. Team divisions are based in part on tenure. An apprentice is a lineworker with less than four years of utility experience. A journeyman or senior journeyman with Duke Energy has more than four years of utility experience. The senior division in a Lineman’s Rodeo denotes lineworkers who are 50 years old or older. 

“Our customer and communities depend on us to keep the power flowing 24/7, 365 days a year,” said Barry Anderson, Duke Energy Florida senior vice president of customer delivery. “We participate in these rodeo competitions to not only sharpen our skills as lineworkers, but to make sure we are working at the highest level of safety, integrity and service for our customers and our peers.”  

Elevated expertise
Duke Energy Florida regional rodeo winners will join other top lineworkers from Duke Energy rodeos in Florida and the Midwest to compete in the International Lineman’s Rodeo in Bonner Springs, Kan., on Oct. 19, an international event that attracts the most talented lineworkers from around the world. The best lineworkers at Duke Energy and its legacy companies have showcased their talents at the International Lineman's Rodeo for more than two decades. 

“I got into line work just because of my love of the outdoors, helping people and turning the lights on,” said Eric Polous, Duke Energy Florida lineworker from the Odena Operations Center. “It was a great competition. We came down here and we never competed together. We grew together as a team and won third place. We are going to Kansas, and we are excited to go.”

Duke Energy Florida competitors advancing from regional rodeos to the International Lineman’s Rodeo include: 

Apprentice Overall Awards  

·        First place – Alejandro Guillen, St. Petersburg, Florida

·        Second place – Steele Conlin, Longwood, Florida

·       Third place – Tyler Farmer, Longwood, Florida


Journeyman Overall Awards  

  • First place – Brandon Bagley, Buena Vista, Fla.
  • Zachary Bichard, Buena Vista, Fla.
  • Ivan White, Buena Vista, Fla.


  • Second place – Steven J. Goepfert, Dunnellon, Fla.
  • Lars Graylin Langlo, Inverness, Fla.
  • Kyle Metz, Brooksville, Fla.


  • Third place – Justin Mathes, Crawfordville, Florida
  • Eric Polous, Odena, Florida
  • Tim West, Odena, Florida.

Journeyman Senior Overall Awards

  • First place – Chet Braden, Walsingham, Florida
  • Ed Filor, Inverness, Florida
  • Henry Shupe, Seven Springs, Florida

“For me, it’s extremely rewarding to be able to do this in front of my children and family. To be able to pay back to all the volunteers and everybody who put in for a good day at the rodeo,” said Ivan White, Duke Energy Florida lineworker and lead health & safety professional.

Duke Energy employs nearly 1,000 lineworkers across its Florida service area. 

The Florida Lineman’s Rodeo was supported by volunteers and vendors from across the Duke Energy community. A record-breaking number of more than 50 vendors also supported this year’s event and more than 80 volunteer students from four colleges including St. Petersburg College, South Florida State College, Valencia College and Northwest Lineman College attended the event and had the opportunity to meet and speak with Duke Energy leadership.

“It’s a good time with good friends, good family and just a great opportunity to show off our trade,” said Zachary Bichard, Duke Energy Florida lineworker from the Buena Vista Operations Center.


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