Phillipsburg Rodeo Gives Annual College Scholarships

by Ruth Nicolaus

Ft. Hays rodeo students benefit from Kansas’ Biggest Rodeo

PHILLIPSBURG, KAN. (April 5, 2019) – For the twenty-third year, Kansas Biggest Rodeo in Phillipsburg is helping college rodeo athletes pay for their schooling at Fort Hays (Kan.) State University.

This year’s beneficiaries are Bailey McCaughey, Eads, Colo., and Nathan Poss, Scotia, Neb.

McCaughey is in her fourth year of studies at Ft. Hays, where she competes on the rodeo team in the breakaway roping and barrel racing. The 2015 Douglas County (Colo.) High School graduate competed in high school rodeo, qualifying for the Colorado State High School Finals Rodeo twice.

At Ft. Hays, she will apply for the radiology program and hopes to become a radiology tech. Prior to attending Ft. Hays, she spent two years at Garden City (Kan.) Community College.

McCaughey works part-time when she is home on the weekends and holidays, and appreciates the scholarship money. “It means a lot,” she said. “Being an out-of-state student, I have a higher tuition bill. It’s less money that I have to pay off in debt some day and I’m extremely grateful for that.” She is the daughter of Todd and Judy McCaughey.

Nathan Poss is a freshman at Ft. Hays State. He is competing in the team roping in collegiate rodeo, with a major in agri-business.

Nathan Poss, a freshman at Ft. Hays (Kan.) State University, is one of two recipients of this year’s Phillipsburg, Kansas Rodeo Association scholarships. He is from Scotia, Neb. – KC Creations Photography

A 2018 graduate of Central Valley High School in Greeley, Neb., Poss competed in high school rodeo and qualified for the Nebraska State High School Finals Rodeo three years. After college graduation, he’ll return to the family ranch, where they run 700 head of purebred Angus cattle. He is the son of Danny and Kristi Poss.

Both McCaughey and Poss say that competing in rodeo at the collegiate level is beneficial to them. “It teaches people responsibility,” McCaughey said. As a college rodeo athlete, “you have to enter (the rodeo), pay for fuel, feed your horse, and make sure you know when you’re up” for competition. McCaughey competes because she enjoys it. “I would have been extremely bored at college if I hadn’t rodeoed. I think it keeps a lot of kids out of trouble. It keeps us busy.”

For Poss, college rodeo has disciplined him. “It has really helped me maintain a work ethic. Every day, I have to practice. And it gives me something to become better at, to work at.”

Since 1997, the Phillipsburg Rodeo Association has awarded scholarships to FHSU students who compete in rodeo. The Phillipsburg Rodeo Association is the organization behind Kansas’ Biggest Rodeo, which will be held August 1-3, 2019. For more information on the rodeo, visit

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