Ponoka’s rodeo bareback golden boy Jake Vold is no stranger to winning and he came out of the 2014 National Finals Rodeo (NFR), Dec. 4 to 13, as the leader of the three Canadians who qualified this year.
Vold earned just under $75,000 over the course of the 10-day rodeo and moved up five places in the world of bareback riding, having gone into the NFR ranked 11th.
“I guess I did pretty good. Not too many people go there and place eight out of 10 rounds,” said Vold.
He didn’t even know how much was going into his pocket until the seventh or eighth round. “I didn’t care, it wasn’t over yet.”
Vold placed fourth in the aggregate with a combined score of 812.5. During his final round he finished the thrilling eight-second ride with a score of 85, his highest of the rodeo. Vold’s best performance for placement was Round 9, when he came in second with an 83.
This was Vold’s first time qualifying at the NFR and, like every competitor who gets to compete in that arena, he’s addicted and already gunning to return in 2015.
“I’ve got to get back there. It’s awesome, it’s one of the best rodeos I’ve ever been to,” said Vold.
“It’s kind of like Ponoka (Stampede) or Armstrong (Interior Provincial Exhibition), it’s one of my favorite rodeos,” he added.
The fast-paced atmosphere remains imprinted in Vold’s mind and is one of his favorite aspects of the NFR. “And winning too, any day you win is a great day.”
“You’re excited to go there every day. You’re amped up to go. You can’t wait,” he added.
Vold had not encountered most of the stock at the NFR before, but had no concerns with their ability to produce. “There’s great stock down there,” he said.
For his last ride Vold climbed onto a horse he had seen compete before. “He’s pretty good. He’s got kind of a weird feeling . . . I just made sure I got the best possible start,” he recalled.
The competition also was not a huge concern for Vold as he maintained a tight focus on the job at hand, which included having fun. “And I did, I had a blast.”