2023 International Locate Rodeo Recap: The Best Locators on the Planet!

Jan 8, 2024 | Event Recap

Mark A. Woodward
President, MO Common Ground Alliance, www.mocommonground.org
Sr. Planner, International Locate Rodeo, www.locaterodeo.net
Sr. Safety & Risk Trainer, Missouri Employers Mutual, www.mem-ins.com

The 2023 ILR brought another great day of competition to Springfield, Missouri! Sunny skies, fall leaves, dry conditions, and great daytime temperatures welcomed 51 competitors from 17 states to compete in the 2023 International Locate Rodeo (ILR) held on December 6 and 7. Fifty volunteers from multiple states and industries helped organize, promote, and execute the 2023 ILR, which was the third event organized & operated by the volunteers of the Missouri Common Ground Alliance. 

In 2023, the ILR was combined with the MOCGA Summit. The Summit is a national damage prevention and safety conference made up of 1,500 attendees, 200 exhibitor personnel, and 75 volunteers. It includes product and service exhibits, fun activities, educational classes, equipment demonstrations, and incident reenactments. The MOCGA Summit is provides $750,000 in training and certifications completely free of charge to attendees thanks to the generosity of exhibitors, sponsors, and donors. 

And HOLY SMOKES! The 2023 ILR kickoff was COOL! For the first time the ILR kicked off in high-energy in front of 1750 participants. Jeff Trowbridge of Subsurface Solutions (www.subsurfacesolutions.com) and Josh Hinrichs of UtiliSource (www.utilisource.us) & Board Member of the Common Ground Alliance (www.commongroundalliance.com), kicked off the ILR from the Summit main stage as competitors rushed out to a custom music video created by Robert Olsen (www.rogav.com). Competitors were welcomed by Stu Crowe, a Professional Bull Riders (www.pbr.com) Rodeo Border Patrol Rider, on his horse Rudy, and the Missouri State University Sugar Bears (https://www.missouristate.edu/SugarBears/) dance team. The MSU Sugar Bears raised the roof to Thunderstruck with a dance routine that finished up this amazing ILR kickoff. Yowzah it was a fast-moving 15 minutes!

The MO CGA appreciates locators because they’re critical to safe excavation. The purpose of the International Locate Rodeo is to provide an opportunity for locating professionals to show off and have pride in their skills in a fun, rewarding, and competitive environment, with industry recognition and over $10,000 in cash prizes!

A special thank you goes to our sponsors, who went above and beyond to make sure the 2023 ILR was a success. Without the financial and logistical support of these companies, the International Utility Locate Rodeo simply would not happen. Please consider supporting our locators and the 2024 ILR by visiting www.locaterodeo.net today.

Congratulations to the 2023 MOCGA International Locate Rodeo Winners!

2023 International Locate Rodeo Grand Championship Winner: Eric Wilke – Elevated Locating – Colorado Springs, CO

Division Runners Up

  • Telecom Trevor Webb – Bloodhound – Clarksville, TN
  • Water Teddy Hall – Paragould Light, Water & Cable – Paragould, AR
  • Gas Richard Chronister – Summit Utilities / AOG – Van Buren, AR
  • Electric Power Francisco Garcia – Pacific Gas & Electric – California

Division Winners

  • Telecom William Boone – USIC – Kansas City, MO
  • Water                    Toby Graham – Bloodhound – Anderson, IN
  • Gas                       Jim Hill – USIC Springfield, MO
  • Electric Power      Eric Wilke – Elevated Locating – Colorado Springs, CO

Wheel Winners

  • Telecom 1           Jacob Buchanan – USIC – Clackamas, OR
  • Telecom 2           William Boone – USIC – Kansas City, MO
  • Water 1              Teddy Hall – Paragould Light, Water & Cable – Paragould, AR
  • Water 2              Toby Graham – Bloodhound – Anderson, IN
  • Gas 1                  Richard Chronister – Summit Utilities / AOG – Van Buren, AR
  • Gas 2                  Jim Hill – USIC – Springfield, MO
  • Electric Power 1   Robert Adams – City of Tallahassee – Tallahassee, FL
  • Electric Power 2   Adrian Gonzalez – Pacific Gas & Electric – California

The 2023 ILR planning team is amazing. They took the bull by the horns with marketing, resource acquisition, competition site development, website management, volunteer recruitment, supporter recruitment, competitor recruitment, and operation of the event. 50 volunteers arrived and went to work managing the event. A special thank you goes to the 2023 ILR planning committee:

  • Jerry Baker         Springfield, MO City Utilities
  • Rocky Harris    Springfield, MO City Utilities
  • Jason Goings      Springfield, MO City Utilities
  • Nick Rasa           Missouri811
  • Charlie Peel         Missouri811
  • Sarah Galbraith     Missouri811
  • Arch York                Kansas811
  • Travis Beran             Subsurface Solutions
  • Jeff Trowbridge        Subsurface Solutions
  • Rick Hale                EGW Gas Solutions
  • John Spatafora     City of Columbia, MO
  • Roy Crouch          Star Construction, LLC
  • Amber Adcock        Liberty Utilities
  • Steve Hoover           Radiodetection

Interested in competing, sponsoring, or volunteering? All are welcome! Reach out to us! We invite you to participate in our planning meetings, and we even offer virtual planning sessions. Contact Mark Woodward @ mwoodwar@mem-ins.com to be added to the planning team, if you’re interested in competing, or if you’d like to sponsor the event or become an exhibitor!

Mark your calendars for the 2024 ILR in December in Springfield, MO. The crew is planning an incredible event including free training, memorable events, special competitions, and lots of fun! 
Keep an eye on www.locaterodeo.net for updates. The 2024 ILR will once again be held in conjunction with the 2024 MOCGA Summit. See more about the Summit at www.mocommonground.org.  Questions and inquiries about the 2024 Summit or the ILR can be emailed to mocommonground@gmail.com or contact MOCGA President Mark Woodward at mwoodwar@mem-ins.com or 573-289-5990.