Published 07/08/2024

Eric Wagner and his family, wife Katie and two daughters, with one of the silhouettes Wagner created for the Phillipsburg Rodeo Association. Photo courtesy Wagner.

Phillipsburg, Kan. (July 8, 2024) – Some beautiful metal art will greet Phillipsburg rodeo fans as they enter the Kansas Biggest Rodeo grounds this year.

Metal silhouettes added to Phillipsburg rodeo grounds

Metal silhouettes standing from five to seven feet tall, of every rodeo event, have been placed in the north pasture, along Highway 183.

A bull rider, steer wrestler, tie-down roper, barrel racer, bronc rider, team ropers, breakaway roper, barrel man, and bullfighter, along with a cowboy and cowgirl, grace the grounds.

They are the creation of Eric Wagner, a Phillipsburg native who owns and operates Diamond W Custom Machine Works in Agra.

Wagner, a graduate of Kansas State University, grew up attending Kansas Biggest Rodeo with his grandparents. “As a kid, I remember going every year. I have a lot of fond memories of it,” he said.

After earning an engineering degree at K-State, he worked for the university for eleven years before moving back to Phillips County in 2020.

While living in Manhattan, Kan., Wagner had started his business as a side gig, working out of his garage. Three years after moving back to Phillipsburg, he went fulltime with Diamond W. He does engineering design, CNC machining, and welding fabrication projects for area businesses and has clients across the country.

Wagner is glad to help the rodeo committee with the silhouette decorations.

“I thought it was an exciting opportunity for me to get involved with my hometown rodeo and be able to support something local. I love helping out. I know a lot of the guys on the rodeo committee and they are good people I’ve known all my life. It’s great to be able to work with them.”

Wagner and his wife Katie are the parents of two daughters, ages three years and five months, and he looks forward to introducing them to the same tradition he grew up with.

“I want to continue the tradition,” he said, “the same way I was raised, and I want to take them to the rodeo and let them have those same experiences and memories as I had, growing up here.”

The silhouettes will be freestanding and able to be moved to other sites.

Doyle Bohl created the signage at the rodeo gate and brings the crane to put up the scoreboard every year. His father-in-law Butch Miller was a longtime committee member, and Bohl continues the family tradition.

Lyle Hockman and Ed Tucker mounted the silhouettes.

Kansas Biggest Rodeo kicks off for its 95th year August 1-3 in Phillipsburg.

Shows start at 8 pm nightly; tickets range in price from $13-$22 and can be purchased online at and at Garrett Insurance (685 Third Street) or by calling 785.543.2448.

For more information, visit the website.