by ProRodeo.com | Oct 12, 2015
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – 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.”
Courtesy of PRCA