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When Jake Vold began riding bareback professionally in 2010, even the best contestants in rodeo knew that this cowboy was going to be more than just good – it was obvious that this Vold boy from Ponoka, was going to be great.
Behind the chutes at the Calgary Stampede, Vold walks over to the awaiting media after scorning a top check in the third go-round of the bareback event. Now 27-years-old, this is his third year riding bareback with the best of the world at Calgary. While he now sits on top of the scoreboard in Pool A, there’s no doubt now that Vold is one to watch for come Sunday.
Outside of Stampede, this bareback rider has been rodeoing hard and collecting pay checks all year on both sides of the boarder. In 2014 Vold, could be well on his way to Vegas to compete at his very first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR). Currently he is sitting 6th in the PRCA standings and has held the top position in Canada, for most this season.
His family is synonymous in the world of rodeo and one could easily say, Vold was born to ride bucking horses.
“Grandpa rode here in 76. One year there were seven Volds here in the bucking horse riding. To be able to come back here and tell Grampa, it’s pretty cool”
“My dad was always my biggest fan, he was a great teacher. When ever I feel like I’m having issues, I always just ask him.”
Looking out across the chutes, he recalls that riding at Calgary has always been his rodeo dream.
“When you are a little kid, this is the rodeo you want to go to. The atmosphere here is amazing.”
Competing in rodeo can take a toll on any competitor. Vold says he tries to take care of himself, even during the heaviest part of the rodeo season. Last year he suffered an elbow injury competing at last year’s Stampede. This year, he says looking after himself is top priority.
“I try to stay calm and relaxed. I get lots of sleep and eat good. Bareback riding is rough, but your body is an investment.”
Earlier this year at the CPRA rodeo in Camrose, Outlaw Bucker’s OLS Tubs Ross River (the 2010 CPRA Bareback horse of the year), threw him hard on the ground and separated the cartilage in his ribs. Now even while he’s spurring a wining ride – with every jump a horse makes – he says he can feel the pain.
“I always say, it’s mind over matter… just clear it out and worry about it later.”
Certainly after those eight seconds, when his feet hit the dirt, that’s when he can think about looking after himself and making the next big ride. After all, this cowboy is tough and he wants to be known as just that.
“I want to be known as the guy that you can never counted out.”
After claiming several top pay checks at the first rodeos of Cowboy Christmas in July, which included a win in the final round at Ponoka that put him second in the average, and a fourth place win at Reno – it’s clear that Vold is on a hot streak and he is certainly not a cowboy to be counted out. If the cards stay in his favour, not only will he be in the top of the money after the final round this week at Stampede, but he will be on his way to Vegas this year as well.
“I have a chance, I’m pretty excited. At the end of the year, I want to be going to Vegas.”