Miss Rodeo Nebraska Finishes in Top 10
Miss Rodeo Washington Kathrine Merk won the pageant.
This marks the second consecutive year that Miss Rodeo Nebraska finished in the top 10 of the Miss Rodeo America Pageant, with Gina Jesperson achieving the same status in last year’s pageant.
NEBRASKAland DAYS would like to congratulate Joni on a fantastic job of representing Nebraska over the past year. We can’t wait to see whats in store for you next.
Please join us at the coronation reception for Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2016 Emily Taylor on January 9th at the Madison County Fairgrounds in Madison, Nebraska. You are asked to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org before December 27th.
Whitaker wins record seventh Linderman Award
Kyle Whitaker won the seventh Linderman Award of his career in 2015, which extends his record for claiming the prestigious honor. The 39-year-old cowboy from Chambers, Neb., first won the Linderman Award in 1998. “I do appreciate it a lot more now than the first time I won it when I was 21,” Whitaker said. “It just means a lot more now, and it could be the last one for me. I really didn’t figure I’d still be qualifying for the Linderman when I was 39.”
Following him with four Linderman Awards are his father, Chip Whitaker, and ProRodeo Hall of Famer Phil Lyne, a five-time world champion.
The Linderman Award recognizes excellence at both ends of the arena. To qualify, a cowboy must win at least $1,000 in each of three events, and those events must include at least one roughstock event and one timed event.
The Linderman Award is named for ProRodeo Hall of Famer Bill Linderman, who won six world championships: all-around (1950, 1953), bareback riding (1943), saddle bronc riding (1945, 1950) and steer wrestling (1950). “When I was in college, I did a lot of research on Bill Linderman,” said Kyle Whitaker, who graduated from Nebraska with a degree in agricultural business. “He was a tough, true cowboy and I think that’s what this award honors. I want people to think of me as a tough cowboy that’s handy and can do whatever it takes.” Whitaker earned $39,175 during the 2015 rodeo season – $31,679 in steer wrestling; $4,980 in tie-down roping; and $2,516 in saddle bronc riding. He was the only cowboy to meet the difficult requirements in 2015 and gain eligibility for the award.
“Winning the Linderman is always my goal,” said Whitaker, who is married and has three daughters. “There are a lot of young guys with the talent to win it, but it takes a lot of dedication. Part of the difficulty of winning the award is staying healthy enough to qualify.”
Parade Route Remains Unchanged for 2016
The route for one of the largest events during NEBRASKAland DAYS will remain the same for 2016 after Celebration officials were notified that the construction on Jeffers Street will continue into the Spring of 2016. The Nebraska Department of Roads is unsure how far into the Spring construction will continue.
“We consulted with the State and the City about this decision for the coming year,” says Executive Director David Fudge. “There is not a great deal of confidence that construction will be concluded by the time the Celebration gets underway on June 15th, so it seemed prudent to plan this way.”
The route will once again move West down 4th Street from Bryan before turning South on Dewey. It will conclude at H Street, at which point Parade entries will be routed East.
“Frankly we received a lot of positive feedback from law enforcement, sponsors, and the City on this route,” says Fudge. “It proved to be very popular with those folks, and safer for participants who didn’t have to navigate up and down the viaduct. Ultimately, we feel the construction delay has given our organization an opportunity to study the long-term feasibility of this route.”