Jake Vold

Ponoka bareback rider second in the world

Jake Vold has excellent NFR with more than $165,000 in winnings

Self described as ‘phenomenal’, the 2016 season is in the books for Ponoka’s Jake Vold.

Vold, fresh off his third straight Canadian bareback championship last month, showed he’s ready to take on the world following his second place finish at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas that ended on Dec. 10.

He ended up the 10-day event with three go-round victories in three straight nights, as well as placing in the money on four other nights on his way to earning more than $165,000. However, despite his success, Vold still wound up nearly $130,000 behind the world champion Tim O’Connell.

“I had a phenomenal year, what with winning my third Canadian title and making it to the NFR,” said Vold in a interview last week after he arrived back in Alberta.

“To have done what I did at the NFR, to place second is still a huge feat.”

Vold knew it would be a tremendous challenge to come into the NFR and earn that world championship buckle, but even for a cowboy that was quite a ways back in the money list, it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.

“I knew coming in that I was way behind on the money list, but with the amount of money up for grabs in Las Vegas, you just never know. All I tried to do was win and have a strong showing,” he said.

While his three performance wins netted him close to $79,000, a couple of hiccups on three of his rides kept him out of the money those nights and some really good rides then might have made the difference.

“Still, I’m very happy with the way things went,” Vold added.

“Now, I’m hoping for a repeat appearance at the NFR and strive further for more Canadian championships.”

That journey for another CFR title and a crack at the NFR in 2017 will begin in a few short weeks for Vold, who is getting in some time with the family and resting up before he starts hitting the gym and working out.

“I’ll start working out soon as the road to get back to the NFR starts with my first rodeo at the end of January. It comes up on you sooner than you think,” he stated.

“To make it back to the NFR, you have to keep going. There isn’t much down time and I’m feeling good and healthy, so I’ll be ready for the challenge.”

Ponoka’s other champ

The three-time Canadian bareback champ was also very happy for his fellow hometown cowboy, Levi Simpson for walking off with the World Championship in team roping at the NFR.

“It was amazing to witness what Levi (and partner Jeremy Buhler) did. I was very happy for them and it opened a lot of eyes down there, as it showed what kind of Canadian talent is out there,” Vold said.

“I think it also showed a lot of the younger guys, especially back home in Canada, that if you put in the effort that it can pay off. They had a great week and it was awesome to be a part of it.”