In honor of its unique and distinct history, the Fort Hays State University Rodeo has established its first-ever Hall of Fame class to recognize individuals whose contributions have shaped Fort Hays State’s rodeo or the rodeo industry.
“For the inaugural class, 22 remarkable individuals were nominated, including representatives from every decade of Fort Hays State rodeo,” said Dr. Marcy Aycock, an FHSU Rodeo Club alumna, and 1984 graduate.
Fort Hays State University is pleased to announce that Neil Barstow, Doug Philip, and Bronc Rumford have been selected for the inaugural FHSU Rodeo Hall of Fame class − all leaders, in and out of the arena. These individuals will be acknowledged for their incredible contributions during the April 20-22 FHSU Rodeo and social on April 22.
Hall of Fame inductee, Neil Barstow, assisted Philip with constructing the university’s rodeo grounds when he came to Fort Hays State as a bull rider in 1966. Barstow was an early FHSU Rodeo Club member and participated in the team’s first annual rodeo in May 1966, where he won the bull riding tournament. While his rodeo career ended abruptly due to an injury, Barstow remained infatuated with the sport and purchased a rodeo equipment company in Texas. Barstow Pro Rodeo Equipment is now operated by his daughter, Erica, who continues the family legacy of producing high-quality rodeo products.
Considered by many as the “father of the Fort Hays State rodeo,” the late Doug Philip exemplifies commitment to rodeo tradition. His lifetime of rodeo contacts, combined with his drive to get things done, led to the early success of the FHSU Rodeo. Many original structures for the rodeo, including its bleachers and rough stock chutes, were built locally on his ranch in the mid-1960s. The Fort Hays State Rodeo team honored Philip in 1992 for his commitment, years of sponsorship, and investment in providing resources and contacts by dedicating the Doug Philip Arena in his name.
Long-standing Fort Hays State rodeo coach Bronc Rumford rounds out the inaugural class. Rumford began breaking rodeo records at 3 ½ years old as the world’s youngest bareback rider. Throughout his lifelong career, Rumford has broken records as a pick-up man, chute boss, and cowboy at rodeos nationwide. He has also served in secretarial roles at several professional rodeos, including president of Miss America Rodeo, Inc. After five decades of involvement with the team and fourteen years as head coach of Fort Hays State’s rodeo team, Rumford passed the title to current coach Guy Forell in the spring of 2022.
As the Fort Hays State University Rodeo celebrates this inaugural Hall of Fame class, it hopes to continue honoring critical figures in the program and industry. The group invites students, alumni, and extended members of the FHSU Rodeo family to join in recognition of these figures during a FHSU Rodeo Social on Saturday, April 22, in the Schenk Building at the Ellis County Fairgrounds. Please register for the social online by April 18.