He was born in 1986, so at the advanced age of 34, one of the greatest steer wrestling horses, if not THE greatest, RTR Little Willy, best known across North America as Willy, has passed away.
Owned by Greg Cassidy of Donalda, Alta., Willy earned well over $3 million. The big bay gelding carried four cowboys to World Steer Wrestling titles in Las Vegas: Rope Myers in 2001, Canadian Lee Graves in 2005, Jason Miller in 2007 and Luke Branquinho in 2008.
Willy also earned six Canadian Steer Wrestling titles for competitors Greg Cassidy in 2000, Curtis Cassidy in 2006, Lee Graves in both 2003 and 2005 and Cody Cassidy in both 2008 and 2009. He also earned an Olympic Gold Medal for Rope Myers in 2002.
In 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009 he was voted as the CPRA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year. In 2004, he earned second place in the voting for the AQHA-PRCA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year, then in 2008, he earned top honours when he was voted as the AQHA-PRCA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year.
In 2020, Willy was inducted into the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.