Etbauer carving Linderman legacy

The Linderman Award is the most elusive accolade in professional rodeo. To be named America’s most talented “true” all-around cowboy, the winner has to make phenomenal rides on bucking broncs or bulls and rope or wrestle cattle with blazing speed.

Here’s the scoop on the award, its namesake, and the American cowboy who was tops this year at all the skills that settled the American West:

• Award namesake Bill “The King” Linderman was a Hall-of-Famer who, in 1950, became the first cowboy to win world championships in three different rodeo events.

• Linderman was retired and serving his 14th year on the board of pro rodeo’s governing body, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, when he died in a 1965 plane crash.

• Founded in 1966, the Linderman Award is annually presented to the winningest cowboy who earns at least $1,000 in each of three events, including a roughstock and a timed event.

• This year’s winner, 28-year-old Trell Etbauer, is in his sixth year as a pro and hails from Goodwell, Okla., where he was an all-state high school football player.

• At 6’1” and 190 pounds, Etbauer sports the chiseled jaw and broad smile of a Hollywood Western star.

• Etbauer was born to be a bronc tamer. His dad is two-time world champion Robert Etbauer and his two uncles are five-time world champ Billy Etbauer and 10-time NFR qualifier Dan Etbauer.

• This season, Etbauer earned $41,684 in saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, and tie-down roping.

• Etbauer was the 2005 national collegiate champion steer wrestler while at Panhandle State University.

• In 2008, Etbauer became the first cowboy to win the Linderman so early in his career. Former winners include Hall-of-Fame cowboys Phil Lyne and Lewis Field.

• This marks the fourth win for Etbauer, who also won the Linderman in 2008–10.

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