Kyle Whitaker is the 2015 Linderman Award winner

by Chuck Coon

Kyle Whitaker is the 2015 Linderman Award winner and the presentation was made in the Thomas & Mack Center during a break in the rodeo action Sunday night in Las Vegas. The relationship to Team Wyoming is simple and sadly tragic. Kyle was mentor to and traveling partner with Brady Wakefield who was killed in a traffic accident along I-80 over the Fourth of July. Brady was just getting started in the pursuit of his pro rodeo career while still on the Gillette College rodeo team. He proudly placed his “Wyoming” patch on his hat. Like Whitaker, Brady Wakefield was a three-event cowboy from Nebraska.

Whitaker competes professionally in steer wrestling, tie-down roping and saddle bronc riding. You must win more than $1,000 a year in each event to qualify for the Linderman Award. This is Whitaker’s seventh Linderman – an unprecedented feat. He won the most bulldogging and the biggest check was from Cheyenne Frontier Days where Kyle took Brady’s place and therefore drew his steer. Whitaker won the second round at “The Daddy” and he did it for Brady. If you didn’t already believe in Divine Providence it would be hard not to after seeing Whitaker’s winning Cheyenne run.

Enjoy the interview with the 39-year-old Whitaker who sorely misses his young friend. You will note a special guest asked to join the short award ceremony. It is Brady Wakefield’s father Jim on the left. Courtesy of Team Wyoming. 

Brought to you by:  American Hat Company “Proud to be an American”  “Proud to wear an American Hat” #americanhatco & #montanasilversmiths #brandofchampions

                © Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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