East Bend youth headed to rodeo

SHAWNEE, Okla. — The 23rd annual International Finals Youth Rodeo will be be held July 5-10 at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center, in Shawnee, and one local kid is set to compete.

Will McCraw of East Bend is participating in the world’s richest youth rodeo, hoping to win his share of more than $200,000 in prize money and championship saddles and buckles.

McCraw will join more than 1,000 of the top high school rodeo athletes from across the United States for the 2015 IFYR. The IFYR has 10 events running simultaneously throughout the week. Events include barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, goat tying, team roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding. The top 15 averages in each event will compete Friday night in the championship round short go for fame and prizes. McCraw is vying for prizes in tie-down roping and team roping.

“Our main purpose from the beginning of the International Finals Youth Rodeo has been to provide high school athletes with a professional rodeo,” said Michael Jackson, operations manager of Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center and International Finals Youth Rodeo. “It’s a great opportunity for these young athletes to get an idea of what to expect if they continue to rodeo in college and beyond.”

For more information visit IFYR.com or call 405-275-7020.

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