McCraw wins American Quarter Horse Association World Championship

October 25, 2013

Will McCraw, just 14 years old, won the 2013 American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA) World Show, World Championship held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The show was host to seven countries and numerous competitors. Will roped his calf in 1.9 seconds, winning the World Championship in Breakaway Roping; and possibly recording the fastest roped time in AQHYA history, according to the research so far. Will also finished in the top 15 in Team Roping and Tie-Down Calf Roping.

Prior to the AQHYA World Show, Will and his North Carolina High School Team Roping partner, Clay Futrell; competed in the National High School Finals Rodeo in Gallup, New Mexico; finishing eighth overall. Will and Clay had to make up a lot of time after their first steer feel down, subsequently putting them way behind the other teams in the average time. At the conclusion of the rodeo, they were eighth overall, with more than 100 teams competing.

A few weeks after the AQHYA World Show, Will competed in the JX2 Productions 13th Annual Hillbilly Redneck Truck and Trailer Explosion in Morristown, Tennessee. Over 1,600 Roping Teams competed for a 2013 Pickup Truck and Horse Trailer. Will won both, winning the Pickup Truck Heeling and the Horse Trailer Heading.

Will began his rodeo career at the early age of four (Muttin Bustin), riding sheep. For the next two years, Will rode sheep every Saturday night; winning his first championship belt buckle, “East of Mesquite Champion Muttin Buster.” Since then, and over the next 10 years, Will has won over 100 championship belt buckles from bull/bronc riding (rough stock events) to barrel racing and roping (timed events). In addition, Will has won seven All-Around Cowboy Championships and saddles and three Reserve All-Around Cowboy Championships.

In addition to rodeoing, Will is very involved in showing horses in the special event classes; tie-down calf roping, breakaway roping and team roping. As such, he has established both personal and business relationships with the likes of Professional Cowboys J.D. Yates, C.R. Bradley, Jay Wadams, and Josh Little, only to name a few. Will won the 2010 All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Team Roping/Heeling.

Recently, Will competed in the 2013 All-American Quarter Horse Congress and finished in the top 15 in the Open Team Roping/Heading and Reserve Congress Champion Team Roping/Heeling.

Furthermore, Will has been selected as a Team member for Carroll Original Wear and Classic Ropes/Equibrand Products. Will is extremely grateful for the opportunity to represent Carroll Original Wear and Classic Ropes/Equibrand Products.

Will lives in East Bend, N.C., and is the son of Doug and Cindy McCraw; the grandson of Lonnie McCraw/Juanita Beck, Wayne and Annabelle Horton and the late Freda (Horton) Arnett.

Currently, Will is the head trainer and Wrangler at Yadkin River Ranch (; where he breeds, raises and trains all the American Quarter Horses on the ranch. He is also actively involved in the breeding/caring of a large herd of horned cattle.

Will is an honor student at Forbush High School and currently serves as the student President for the North Carolina High School Rodeo Association; along with being very involved in other equine activities. Will’s future endeavors/goals are sighted at a rodeo scholarship and subsequent Veterinarian School, most likely west of the Mississippi.

Will acknowledges his success is the result of hard work, dedication, commitment, knowledge and long hours; and the financial commitment of his “mom and dad.” He encourages his sister, Hayden, as she begins her rodeo career at age 6.