By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – A Canadian County youth won a new trailer at a recent world horse cutting competition at the Canadian County Expo & Event Center.
McCray Whitman, 11, of El Reno, was presented the new four-horse Smart Tack II trailer Friday, Dec. 17 at Canadian County’s new fairgrounds’ facility at Jensen and Alfadale roads.
McCray, the son of Matt and Holley Whitman, is a fifth grader at Maple School.
He won a drawing for the new trailer during the World Cutting Horse Association (WCHA)’s year-end finals on Oct. 27-30 at the Canadian County Expo & Event Center, 3001 Jensen Road East.
“This is my second year to compete,” McCray said.
McCray won the drawing for the trailer after finishing third among 11 competitors in the youth division of this fall’s cutting horse show.
All participants at the WCHA finals had a chance to win.
As if that wasn’t enough, McCray won trophy stirrups after tying for first place in the aggregate award.
McCray rides Sophie, owned by Dave and Aaron Russell.
Riding another horse, he won a first-place trophy at the Appaloosa Youth World Show this August in Ardmore.
Cutting horses is a family tradition, McCray’s mother said.
“His uncles have trained cutting horses forever,” Holley Whitman shared. “His dad started cutting and training cutting horses.
“We’re so blessed to be able to do this together as a family. We have a living quarters’ trailer and go for the weekend all over Oklahoma and Texas – that’s our ‘getaway’.”
The horse cutting season ended in November and starts back up next January.
A HART TRAILER
McCray’s new horse trailer comes from Hart Trailer in Chickasha.
“We’re extremely excited and proud for him to have this trailer to use,” owner Tracy Hart Graham said. “McCray is just an amazing young man, and the WCHA is a great organization. We love being a part of it.”
Hart Graham’s father started Hart Trailer in 1968. The company – which manufactures custom-built trailers for customers – has dealers from coast to coast and even outside the U.S.
Delivering the trailer to McCray and members of the Whitman family was Tommy Farrell of Farrell Livestock Trailers in Newcastle, Hart’s Oklahoma dealer.
This fall’s WCHA finals drew competitors from across the region to Canadian County’s new Expo & Event Center.
“This was a huge event,” said Brad Tipton, secretary of the Canadian County Fair Board.
McCray said he really likes competing in horse shows at the county fairgrounds’ facility, one of his favorite places to ride.
His mom agreed, saying “It’s a beautiful facility.”
Holley Whitman called it a “great blessing” for the family to have the new horse trailer.
“It’s brand new … it’s a beautiful trailer,” she said. “It’s also helps to thank our sponsors, who help us to do this. For them to back this association (WCHA) is really a blessing.”