1964: A group of Fort Hays State
University students organized and came up with the idea of a rodeo club
in 1964, and elected Bob Kephart as president. Rodney Ensel was elected
secretary and Joe Hedrick filled the role of treasurer, while Dr. Cliff
Edwards acted as faculty advisor. The community became involved with
the club when Doug Philip and Donita Moore became sponsors.
Fort Hays State University Rodeo Club was officially organized and
recognized in the fall of 1965 by the Student Organizations Committee.
Larry Kumle was club president, Larry O’Bleness became vice-president,
and Glenda Rudolph and Dennis Swayze became secretary and treasurer,
respectively. The club gained 46 members that year and was dubbed “one
of the fastest growing organizations on campus” by the 1965 Fort Hays
Kansas State College yearbook after rodeo-ing in Ellis and attending the
annual K-State Rodeo in Manhattan, Kan. It wasn’t until 1966 that Hays,
Kan., saw its first FHSU Rodeo Club performance.
After much preparation, the Saddle Club arena, then located on what is
now Commerce Drive in Hays, Kan., transformed from an area filled with
buffalo mesh fencing, utility pole posts and minimal lighting
capabilities to one with custom built bucking chutes and bleachers that
would hold more than 2,000 people. The First Annual Fort Hays Kansas
State Intercollegiate Rodeo, held May 6 and 7, 1966, was the first rodeo
of its kind in the Hays area in more than 20 years. Students Floyd
Rumford and Joe Hedrick furnished livestock and fought bulls,
respectively. Other students participated by competing in barrel racing,
bareback riding and crowning the Rodeo Queen. The event attracted 11
other schools to participate. The 1966 Rodeo Club officers were Harry
Trosin as president, Jim Ochs as vice-president, Joyce Ochs as
secretary, and Larry O’Bleness as treasurer. Leon Maxson and Robert
Lowen served as faculty advisors.
Fort Hays State University Rodeo Club used funding from their first
intercollegiate rodeo in 1966 to produce a new arena for the Second
Annual Fort Hays Kansas State Intercollegiate Rodeo on May 5 and 6,
1967. The Rodeo Club presented its first scholarship to a top high
school senior and entertained crowds with comedy acts, bull fighting and
other events. Larry Kumle was the club’s president, Larry O’Bleness was
vice-president, Glenda Rudolph was secretary, and Dennis Swayze was
club treasurer. Community sponsors included Robert Lowen and Leon
Maxson. Nancy Cotham was the Women’s Faculty Sponsor. Doug Philip and
Tom Hancock were also faculty sponsors.
the leadership of Rodeo Club President Sig Collins, Vice-President Roy
Turley, Secretary Pansy Callaway and Treasurer John Ficken, the Third
Annual Rodeo, May 10-11, was a success. That year brought much-needed
rains to Hays, adding an unusual element to the intercollegiate
competition. The FHSU girls’ team took top honors and the men’s team
placed second. Joe Hedrick acted as rodeo clown, assisted by Floyd
Rumford, a trained mule and two trained llamas. A sponsored barn dance
and two academic scholarships, which were awarded to two club members,
completed the event.
The Fourth Annual Rodeo was held May 16-18, 1969 under Rodeo Club
President Rick Stewart, Vice-President John Rohrbaugh, Secretary Kay
Lynn Philip and Treasurer Roy Turley. The Rodeo Club efforts were
directed by community sponsors Doug Philip and Rose Smith and faculty
members Leon Maxson and Bob Lowen. Floyd Rumford furnished the
The Fifth Annual Rodeo was successful under club officers Neil Barstow
as president, Tim Miser as vice-president, Cathy Garten as secretary and
Ray Nokes as treasurer. This year Joe Hedrick returned as a bullfighter
and comedy act. This rodeo also acted as the first alumni rodeo.
This year’s Rodeo Club officers were President Deone Hudson,
Vice-President Alan Dreiling, Treasurer Kathy Garten and Secretary
Yvette Graves for the Sixth Annual Rodeo, held April 30-May 2. Bettering
the fair grounds by building additional bleachers at the arena was a
definite club focus. Community sponsors were Rose Smith and faculty
sponsors were Bob Lowen and Lorraine “Jack” Jackson. Rumford furnished
the livestock for the rodeo and Joe Hedrick saved the cowboys.
For the Seventh Annual Fort Hays Rodeo, held April 21-23, 15 colleges
and universities participated. Events included bareback bronc riding,
saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling and Brahma bull riding. The FHSU
men’s team took first place over-all and the women’s team achieved
second place. Club members included President Jim Zoltenko and others.
Hudson Rodeo Company furnished the livestock and Joe Hedrick provided
entertainment as a bullfighter and clown.
The Eighth Annual Rodeo was held May 4-6 and hosted a variety of
competitions and visiting universities. Helen Miles and Lorraine “Jack”
Jackson were faculty sponsors. Doug Philip and Rose Smith were community
The Ninth Annual Rodeo was held May 3-5. Men’s events included bareback
saddle-bronc, bull-riding, bull-dogging, calf-roping and ribbon-roping.
The women’s events were barrel racing, goat-tying and break-away
roping. The overall rodeo record was exceptional enough to send nine of
FHSU’s rodeo members to the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s
national finals in Bozeman, Mon. They won second and sixth place in the
10th Annual Fort Hays State Intercollegiate Rodeo was held May 2-4.
This year was eventful due to a massive amount of rainfall prior to the
first event. Cowboys and girls were streaked with mud during the
competition. The negative effects of this showed in the timed
competitions’ results. Individual event winners won championship belt
buckles and all-around winners in both men and women’s categories were
rewarded with custom-made saddles, according to the 1975 Fort Hays State
The 11th Annual Rodeo was held April 30 and May 1-2. This year there
was no rain, but unusually cold temperatures resulted in low attendance.
Twenty-three colleges from Kan., Mo. and Okla. competed during the
The 12th Annual Rodeo was held April 29-30 and May 1. With 15 colleges
and universities competing, the 12th Annual Rodeo was a $14,000 event,
according to the 1977 Fort Hays State University yearbook. Rodeo Club
built additional horse pens and doubled the available area for members’
livestock. Fort Hays State University classified rodeo-ing as a sport in
their 1977 yearbook because of an increase in national attention in
recent years. Lorraine “Jack” Jackson, assistant professor of journalism
and Rodeo Club sponsor, said that as much as $8,000 was awarded to
students in scholarships.
The 13th Annual Rodeo was held April 28-30. Unpleasant weather once
again hurt attendance and individual performances. This year, FHSU’s
Rodeo Club improved their arena with small repairs and built a horse
The 14th Annual Rodeo was held April 27-29. Over 300 contestants from
22 Midwest colleges and universities competed. This year, the Rodeo Club
increased its membership from 25 to 50 with help from their alumni
15th Annual Rodeo was held May 2-4, and featured 20 teams from Kan. and
Okla. in regional competition. Before the spring rodeo, the Rodeo Club
improved rodeo ground maintenance and built new restrooms at the arena
site. Larry Insley was the faculty advisor.
Club held the first Tri-State Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC)
Rodeo from Sept. 26-28. According to the 1981 Fort Hays State University
yearbook, “Over 260 participants from Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska
practiced rodeo techniques while receiving special instruction from club
members.” Their significant yearly event, the 16th Annual Rodeo, held
on a hot, windy weekend, May 1-3, attracted students from area colleges.
Bobby Massey was Rodeo Club president. Garry Brower served his first
year as faculty advisor with Doug Philip, Dennis Schmidt and Bernie
Harvey as the community sponsors.
The 17th Annual Rodeo was held April 30-May 2. This year Rumford Rodeo
Company organized the livestock and Don Barton provided organ music.
Jerry McNamar served as announcer for the competition.
18th Annual Rodeo was held April 29-May 1. Steve Dinkel, Doug Philip
and Dennis Schmidt were community sponsors. Butch Lehmkuhler and Rich
Reinert fought bulls and presented an entertaining trampoline act.
The 19th Annual Rodeo was held April 27-29 with Bryan Guipre as
president, Mike Smith as vice-president, Kathleen Lindquist as secretary
and Neal Beetch as treasurer. Earlier in the year Rodeo Club members
toured Hays grade schools to promote the university rodeo and
demonstrate rodeo techniques. Although inclement weather once again
lowered attendance, more than 300 competitors participated in the
intercollegiate competition. Don Barton provided music and Jerry McNamar
was the announcer. Floyd Rumford furnished the livestock for the
The 20th Annual Rodeo was held April 26-28, 1985. Once again, cold rain
and sleet harmed attendance this year. Terry Heina was Rodeo Club’s
president, Jay Stretcher was vice-president, Kathleen Lindquist was
secretary and Elaine Carpenter was treasurer. Lee Ann Brown played the
organ, Jerry McNamar announced and Rumford Rodeo Company furnished
livestock. In September, the Rodeo Club had their 5th Annual ARC Rodeo.
Don Barton played music and Jarry McNamar announced.
The 21st Annual Rodeo was held April 25-27, under National
Intercollegiate Rodeo Association standards. Terry Heina served a second
term as Rodeo Club president, Mike Smith was vice-president, Eve Swaim
was secretary and Monte Hampton and Mark Levdig were co-treasurers.
Hudson Rodeo Company furnished the livestock, S.L. Howdy White announced
and Lee Ann Brown played the organ.
This year hosted the 22nd Annual Rodeo, held April 24-26. Mike Smith
was president of Rodeo Club, John Ostrum was vice-president, Claudette
Pachta was secretary, and Lisa Arnoldy was treasurer. Rumford Rodeo
Company furnished the livestock, Jerry Taylor announced and Lee Ann
Brown played music. Kevin Rich fought bulls and introduced his infamous
“gator” act. Rodeo Club team members competed in events such as saddle
bronc riding, bull riding, bareback competition, calf roping, steer
wrestling and team roping. Women’s sports were barrel racing, team
roping and modified roping events.
With Kevin Rich as Rodeo Club president, Kyle Camidilli as
vice-president, Fort Hays State University’s 23rd Annual Rodeo, held
April 29-May 1, was a success. The Rodeo Club made $10,000 worth of
renovations to the rodeo arena according to the 1988 Fort Hays State
University yearbook. Rumford Rodeo Company provided livestock, Lee Ann
played music, Jerry Taylor announced and Kevin Rich provided
entertainment by fighting bulls and performing a comedy act.
Fort Hays State University’s 24th Annual Rodeo was held April 28-30.
This year, Dennis Anderson was Rodeo Club president and Bronc Rumford
accepted an unpaid, part-time position as rodeo coach. Rumford Rodeo
Company provided livestock for the event. Jerry Taylor announced, Kevin
Rich fought bulls and entertained with comedy acts. Three FHSU Rodeo
Club team members qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo In
Bozeman, Mont. The Rodeo Club improved thanks to four transfer students
from junior colleges; Kent Crouch, Ty Rinaldo, Nancy Reece and Michelle
Radacy. Ty Rinaldo was the champion bull rider for the Central Plains
Region, but an early injury during the rodeo kept him from properly
competing. Student Kent Crouch was named Central Plains Champion
Bareback Rider and the CPR Reserve Champion All-Around Cowboy. Kevin
Rich was the Central Plains Reserve Champion Bull Rider.
Rich participated in the competition and
even competed in the free-style bull fighting at the request of CNFR
Stock Contractor Harry Vold as a replacement bullfighter. Rich and a
group of friends received this request only after a day filled with
golf, basketball, and a heavy supper. Gary Brower said that a comment
Rich made referring to their meal caused the Mexican-style restaurant
owner to give them overwhelming amounts of food. This resulted in Rich
performing on a full stomach and tired legs, he said.
As Brower recalls, Rich tried to impress
the crowd by jumping a bull. He would have succeeded had he stepped on
the bull’s head and not its face. Fortunately, Rich escaped the arena in
good time. As he exited the arena, his friends reportedly watched him
and thought, “Don’t embarrass us by falling off the fence,” while Rich
thought, “Lord, don’t let me puke in front of them.” Rich finished in
third place that night and in second place the next two nights.
to unsafe fencing, the 25th Annual Rodeo, held April 27-29, moved to
the Ellis County Fair Ground Rodeo Arena. The Rodeo Club women’s team
continued a winning tradition by qualifying for the College National
Finals Rodeo. Michelle Radacy qualified as the CPR Champion Breakaway
Roper. Brenda Minkley-Cress and Kristi White-Kroeger formed the CPR
Reserve Champion Women’s Team. Ty Rinaldo was Rodeo Club president and
served one term as the CPR Student Director. Rumford Rodeo Company
provided livestock, Jerry Taylor announced and Kevin Rich entertained by
It was in 1991 that Garth Brook’s single “Rodeo” popularized rodeos.
Before the 26th Annual Rodeo, held April 26-28, the Rodeo Club team
worked feverishly to remodel The Ellis County Fair Ground Rodeo Arena
with pipe-framed fencing, weld cattle panels and improve bull and horse
pens. Rob Hedrickson was named Central Plains Reserve Champion Bareback
Rider. Joe Clevenger was Rodeo Club president and served the remainder
of the term as CPR Student Director. Rumford Rodeo Company furnished the
livestock and Jerry Taylor announced.
the 27th Annual Rodeo, the timed event arena pens were replaced with
pipe and sucker-rod construction and video quality lighting was
installed. The horse stall facilities, constructed in 1967, became an
annual work project. The arena was dedicated as the Doug Philip Arena in
memory of the original Rodeo Club community sponsor and advisor. A
memorial fund was also established this year to assist with arena
updates and repair. After the repairs and dedication were complete, the
27th Annual Rodeo began. The officers were President Shane Johnson,
Vice-President Rob Hendrickson and Secretary/Treasurer Lacie Lagasse.
Rumford Rodeo Company provided livestock for the competition, Jerry
Taylor announced and Sugar Ray Quinn, Rapid City, SD, fought bulls.
Club President Greg Farney, Vice-President Clay Preedy,
Secretary/Treasurer Linette Schaller and other Rodeo Club members
organized the Three Alarm Benefit for fire victims Tally Ann Klitzke,
Rod and Christi Werth and Jerry DeWeese. The fundraiser dance raised
$634 according to the 1993 Fort Hays State University yearbook. During
the 28th Annual Rodeo, held April 23, 1993, Jim Brown won the Wild Ride
as Victor E. Tiger.
In the fall, Mike Lee organized riding classes for the Developmental
Services of Northwest Kansas. Rodeo club members participated and
provided horses to help make the riding classes successful. From April
29-May 1, 1994, the 29th Annual Rodeo took place despite heavy rain,
sleet and wind. This year began the reign of “Lightning” Larry Deges as
bullfighter for the annual rodeo. Ex-rodeo club member Brent Schreiber
assisted Deges in fighting bulls and providing comedy. Rodeo Club
officers were Darin Alexander as president, Paul Wertenberger as
vice-president, and Jill Garrett as secretary and treasurer. Rumford
Rodeo Company provided the rodeo livestock and Jerry Taylor announced
despite bad weather.
The 30th Annual Rodeo took place from April 21-23 under the guidance of
Rodeo Club second-term President Darin Alexander, Vice-President Mike
Greenleaf, Secretary Dena Lamb and Treasurer Gill Garrett. Rumford Rodeo
Company provided the rodeo livestock, Kyle Elwood announced and Deges
and Brent Schrieber returned to provide entertainment. Mike Smith and
Gary Rolland joined the community sponsors beside Dennis Schmidt. The
Rodeo Club’s riding classes with DSNWK returned this year after
The 31st Annual Rodeo utilized Rumford Rodeo Company livestock. The
Rodeo Club President was Mike Greenleaf and Kyle Elwood announced. Larry
Deges and Brent Schrieber provided entertainment. Ex-rodeo member Tally
Ann Klitzke won the title of Miss Rodeo Kansas. There were 17 teams and
23 colleges and universities represented in the competition that year.
The Annual Rodeo saw exceptional competition from FHSU’s Rodeo Club
women’s team in their events.
32nd Annual Rodeo was held April 25-27. The Rodeo Club president was
Duane Barringer, Jason Sneath was vice-president, Suzette Long was
secretary and Melissa Graham was treasurer. Rumford Rodeo Company
furnished the livestock and Jerry Taylor announced. Larry Deges and
Brent Schrieber once again provided entertainment by fighting bulls.
Lester Sims and Rick Anderson assisted Bronc Rumford with coaching the
team. Albert Ree of Town and Country Water Well Service joined Gary
Rolland, Dennis Schmidt and Mike Smith as the community sponsors.
The 33rd Annual Rodeo was a success as Hope Whitaker was named the 1998
Central Plains Reserve Champion Goat Tyer and qualified for the 1998
College National Finals Rodeo for the first time since 1990. The spring
event directed by Rodeo Club President Kyle VanDoren, Vice-President
Jason Sneath, Secretary Suzette Long and Treasurer Brian Stawinski.
Unfortunately, Floyd Rumford, Jr. passed away of Wegener’s Disease on
May 25, 1998.
The 35th Annual Rodeo was held April 28-30 after the outdoor and indoor
arena acquired new lights, new infrared heaters were put in the indoor
arena and remodeling on the siding and roof of the clubhouse began. Spud
Pratt and Josh Canat qualified for the 2000 College National Finals
Rodeo in team roping and finished as the 4th place team in national
rankings. Dustin Quint was the Rodeo Club president, Levi Taylor was
vice-president, Andi Riddle was secretary, and Sadye Flynn was
treasurer. Rumford Rodeo Company once again provided livestock, Mike
Ramsey announced and Larry Deges and Brent Schrieber fought bulls.
April 27-29 held the 36th Annual Rodeo. Spud Pratt was named the CPR
Reserve Champion Team Roper. Ryan Day served as Rodeo Club president,
Spud Pratt was vice-president, Quinley Oliphant was secretary and Katie
White was treasurer. The Rodeo Club used Rumford Rodeo Company
livestock. Mike Ramsey announced the events and Larry Deges and Brent
Schrieber fought bulls for entertainment.
The 37th Annual Rodeo saw success as four individuals qualified for the
College Rodeo Championship Series (otherwise known as the “Playoffs”).
The competitors were Matt Jervis in Bull Riding; Amy Boettcher in goat
tying; and Spud Pratt and Braden Stueve in team roping. Pratt qualified
for the College National Finals Rodeo in team roping and finished as 3rd
in the nation. Braden Stueve also qualified for the CNFR in team
roping. Matt Jarvis not only qualified for the “Playoffs,” but also was
the CPR Reserve Champion Bull Rider and qualified for the CNFR in bull
The 38th Annual Rodeo was held April 25-27, under direction of Matt
Jarvis as Rodeo Club president, Leslie Foos as vice-president, Kristy
Bryant as secretary and Shawna Howell as treasurer. Matt Jarvis was
named the CPRA Champion Bull Rider that year. Luke Boeser became a
member of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association All-Star Team
and Lana Stueve was the recipient of the NIRA Rawhide Scholarship, which
is worth $500.
In the program for the 39th Annual Rodeo, held April 23-25, Keith
VanDoren, St. John, was officially noted in the rodeo program as an
assistant coach after years of coaching Rodeo Club steer wrestlers.
Rodeo Club officers were Bernie Boeser as president, Luke Boeser as
vice-president, Heidi Housholder as secretary and Lana Stueve as
treasurer. Rumford Rodeo Company provided livestock and Tim Fuller took
over announcing duties. Sam Gress and Jeff Roberts entertained the
crowds by fighting bulls. Bob Goodrow joined Dennis Schmidt, Albert Ree
and Mike Smith as community sponsors for the event.
The 40th Annual Rodeo, held April 22-24, brought a new coach to the
rodeo team—Bernie Boesner. The Rodeo Club officers were Austin Boggs as
president, Cole Carmac as vice-president, Haley Hazen as secretary and
Karli Sherwood as treasurer. Rumford Rodeo Company furnished the
livestock, Travis Schauda was the announcer and Sam Gress and Jeff
Roberts fought bulls.
41st Annual Rodeo was held April 21-23. Travis Carmac qualified for the
57th College National Finals Rodeo in steer wrestling and placed fifth
in the national rankings. Haley Hazen was Rodeo Club president, Lance
Manker was vice-president, Amy Smith was secretary and Logan Glaze was
treasurer. Rodeo Club used Rumford Rodeo Company livestock for the event
and Travis Schauda announced. Sam Gress and Jeff Roberts fought bulls.
the 42nd Annual Rodeo, Brooke Inlow was named the Central Plains
Reserve Champion Goat Tyer and finished at 13th place in the national
rankings following the College National Finals Rodeo. Fort Hays State
University President Dr. Edward Hammond showed support of rodeo by
creating two positions designed to maintain the rodeo program at FHSU.
The hiring of Bronc Rumford and Ross Russell in August of 2008 resulted
from this decision. Bronc Rumford was a FHSU Rodeo Club team member
during college and is the owner and manager of Rumford Rodeo Company.
Ross Russell was named assistance coach after his graduation from FHSU
43rd Annual Rodeo was held April 18-20 under President Travis Camac,
Vice-President Logan Glaze, Secretary Sadie Crawford and Treasurer Jenna
Rolland. Rumford Rodeo Company furnished livestock, Travis Schauda
announced and Sam Gress and Wacey Munsell fought bulls.
2009: Close to 500 entries from 25 Kansans and Oklahoma universities and
colleges comprised the 2009 rodeo. Cold and rainy weather the first day gave
way to sunshine and warmth the rest of the weekend. Four FHSU rodeo team members
made the short-go round, and it was the first college rodeo worked by Canadian
bullfighter Aaron Ferguson. Rumford Rodeo Company provided livestock for the
The 45th Annual Rodeo was held April 16-18 under the direction of Rodeo
Club President Kody Kiser, who also served as treasurer of the Student
Government Association, Vice-President Calli Capraro, Secretary Nikki
Brobst and Treasurer Jennifer Sherman. Mike Greenleaf’s Medicine River
Rodeo Company furnished the livestock, Trais Schauda announced and Ethan
McDonald and Aaron Ferguson fought bulls.
The 46th Annual Rodeo was hosted April 15-17 under President Cole
Pearson, Vice-President Callie Capraro, Secretary Nikki Brobst and
Treasurer Jennifer Sherman. The first reunion for Rodeo Club alumni was
also held. Inclement weather canceled events on April 15, and the rodeo
resumed the next day with Travis Shauda announcing.
2012 Rodeo (47th annual) took place April 20-22 under abnormally
agreeable weather. New Priefert bucking chutes provided an upgrade to
the rodeo facilities and further helped deliver seamless rodeo
performances for the weekend. Travis Shauda once again delivered
commentary as MC of the weekend's events, and Justin Rumford entertained
the crowds as rodeo clown. Rumford is one of five finalists for Rodeo
Clown of the Year in Professional Rodeo. Medicine River Rodeo Company,
led by FHSU alum Mike Greenleaf, provided livestock for the event.
While no students qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo
(CNFR), several participants from FHSU made it to the short-go rounds
and accumulated points for the team. FHSU's rodeo was also voted one of
the top rodeos in the region.