In the 1970s, Nebraskan Chip Whitaker set the standard for being one of the most versatile all-around cowboys in ProRodeo by winning the prestigious Linderman Award four times.
To qualify, a cowboy must win at least $1,000 in three events, and those events must include at least one roughstock and one timed event. The qualifying contestant with the most money won earns the title.
In 2005, Chip’s son, Kyle, tied his father’s mark by winning his fourth Linderman. In 2006, Kyle Whitaker won his fifth, and last year, the 35-year-old cowboy won the title for the sixth time, all while riding saddle broncs, wrestling steers and roping calves.
He also won the Great Lakes Circuit’s all-around and steer wrestling titles. The latter helped Whitaker earn his 11th qualification to the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, set for March 29-April 1 at State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City. He’s a two-time RNCFR champion, having earned all-around titles in 2002 and 2008.
He’d like to add an individual title this year, and he has as good a chance as anyone.
RNCFR steer wrestling qualifiers
This list is subject to change
Justin Blaine Davis
Juan Alcazar Jr.
Joe Bell Sr.