Growing up on a vegetable farm in Yuma, AZ, it went without saying that Bill Cress would continue with livestock and agriculture throughout his life. Bill and his wife Valerie moved to Aguila in 1957 where they would raise their children, farm crops and raise and show champion Quarter Horses for the next fifty-four years.
Bill was introduced to Quarter Horses through his children. Oldest daughter Cami became interested in showing in the newly offered AQHA Youth Activity classes. Dusty Driftwood was purchased from Pat O’Leary to be shown in all the events offered at the time. Daughter Kelly and son Curt also showed while growing up in Aguila. Bill Cress managed the stallions Poco Buzz Boy, Parker’s Dandy and Mr. Red Ant. The Cress’ owned Mr. Red Ant, sire of Reserve World Champions. The Cress’ also owned NSBA Hall of Fame mare and dam of World Champions, Penny Pawnee.
In 1972 Bill Cress became an approved AQHA judge, a job he held for thirty-seven years. Along with the AQHA judge’s card, Bill has held eleven approved cards from other breeds and disciplines. Bill has judged all the major World Shows, including AQHA, APHA, Palomino, Pinto, and Appaloosa. At age 81, Bill still travels the country judging shows for seven different breed associations. Bill was elected to AzQHA President in 1977, the same year he was elected as an AQHA Director. Bill served as Chairman of the AQHA Youth Committee and the International Committee. After twenty years Bill was elevated to Director at Large.
Bill Cress has been a dedicated volunteer for the Quarter Horse and the state of Arizona. In 2013 he was inducted into the inaugural Arizona Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame.