Phillipsburg Rodeo Gives Annual College Scholarships

by Ruth Nicolaus

Ft. Hays rodeo students benefit from Kansas’ Biggest Rodeo

PHILLIPSBURG, KAN. (April 9, 2018) – Two Ft. Hays (Kan.) State University (FHSU) students have been awarded scholarships courtesy of the Phillipsburg Rodeo Association.

Shae Biedenbender, Westmoreland, Kansas, and Travis Booth, Castle Rock, Colo., have both been awarded $500 scholarships.

Biedenbener, who is a freshman at Ft. Hays State, competes in the breakaway roping, goat tying, team roping (as a heeler), and will add barrel racing to her repertoire this spring.

She is studying to become an interior designer, having dabbled in it since childhood. After college, she plans on designing the interior of living quarter horse trailers. “Since I’m on the road, I know what people would like in a trailer. I’ve always had a creative mind.”

She is a 2017 graduate of Rock Creek High School in St. George, Kansas and was on the honor roll all four years of high school. Her parents expected her to study. “My dad made it known,” she said, “that he struggled in high school and he made sure his kids knew to take it seriously.” Studies still come first for her in college. “That’s what our (college rodeo) coaches say, too, and I don’t disagree with them at all.”

The scholarship will go towards cost of tuition and books, and she’s grateful for it. “I’m all about helping my family not have to pay expenses,” she said.

She is the daughter of Dan and Meloni Biedenbender.

Travis Booth is a sophomore at FHSU and is majoring in animal science.

He competes in the steer wrestling and team roping, having begun his collegiate rodeo career at Otero Community College in La Junta, Colo. and transferring to FHSU last fall.

He is appreciative of the scholarship money; “it really helped me,” he said.

Booth plans on graduating in May of 2020 and may choose to go back to Colorado and grow the cattle operation he and his dad have started.

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 2-4, 2018. For more information on the rodeo, visit

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