Phillipsburg rodeo gives annual scholarships to two Ft. Hays State students

Published 04/11/2022

Kamryn Smith, a college rodeo athlete for Ft. Hays State University, breakaway ropes in a practice session. The Linn, Kan. native is the recipient of a $500 scholarship from the Phillipsburg Rodeo Association. Photo by Brecken Preitauer.

Brent Hornbuckle, Ottawa, Kan. and Kamryn Smith, Linn, Kan., have each received $500 scholarships.

Hornbuckle, 23 years old, competes in the tie-down roping and the team roping for Ft. Hays State.

The cowboy didn’t enter the rodeo world in as a youth. He knew how to ride but didn’t begin roping till he went to college.

He learned quickly, soaking up knowledge from a former Ft. Hays coach, Ross Russell and from watching videos of professional ropers.

“It was pretty rough the first couple years,” he said, referring to the early years of his college rodeo, “but I put my head down and worked at it.” He watched videos of team roping cowboys at the National Finals Rodeo, emulating what they did.

A 2016 graduate of Ottawa High School, Hornbuckle will graduate this May with degrees in Agronomy, Agronomy Business, and Animal Science. He may continue his education this fall, working towards a Masters of Business Administration with a study in Agriculture.

He works thirty hours a week as part of his work study, caring for the college rodeo livestock and the practice facility.

He attended the 2019 Phillipsburg rodeo behind the scenes, as a livestock caretaker, feeding, watering and sorting rodeo cattle.

Hornbuckle is the son of Scott and Sara Hornbuckle.

Kamryn Smith competes in the breakaway roping and team roping for the Ft. Hays team.

A 2019 Linn High School graduate, she is pursuing an agriculture business degree with a minor in accounting.

She competed in junior high and high school rodeo before attending college.

She has ties to the Phillipsburg rodeo; she’s attended it as a spectator, and in high school rodeo, competed in the arena in 2019.

Smith works 20 to 25 hours a week, in addition to studies and rodeo competition.

She enjoys rodeo because it’s fun but also requires discipline. “It’s my motivation. I love to rodeo and hang out with my friends, but I love to show off my hard work from practice.”

She competes in the Kraft Rodeo Co. series and hopes to some day have her own business training and riding performance horses.

She is the daughter of Ron and Kami Smith.

Since 1997, the Phillipsburg Rodeo Association has made an annual donation to the FHSU rodeo program. The Phillipsburg Rodeo Association is the organization behind Kansas' Biggest Rodeo, which will be held August 4-6. For more information on the rodeo, visit

Over $26,000 has been awarded by the Phillipsburg Rodeo Association to Ft. Hays State rodeo team members.