Ponoka's Jake Vold keeps a strong hold of his horse Friday

Vold, Flewelling take CFR finals by storm

Two Ponoka rodeo athletes return with Canadian championship.

The best Canadian rodeo athletes converged on Edmonton for a week of tough Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) that saw two Ponoka area cowboys taking home a championship buckle.

Bareback rider Jake Vold got enough good rides in to hang on to win his second straight Canadian title, while team roper Tyrel Flewelling with his partner Roland McFadden secured the title with enough season winnings to buy a new truck.

Vold entered the CFR his sixth straight appearance with a huge lead in the standings and despite a slow start the first two nights, he couldn’t be caught and then put his stamp on the repeat by winning the go-round Sunday, putting up the highest score in bareback this year an 89.25.

Vold also landed all six rides of the week.

“To repeat as the Canadian champ, I was probably twice as excited as I was when I won my first one last year and I never thought I could be more excited than when I did that,” said Vold, who ended the season with nearly $100,000 in earnings.

And just like last year, Vold knew early that he would be putting on the championship buckle. Last year, he clinched victory on the Friday night, while this time around the title wasn’t his for sure until after the Saturday afternoon performance. However, that didn’t mean Vold wasn’t going to give it his all right to the end this year.

“Last year, when I knew rather early on that I was going to win, I don’t think I was as focused and I let some money slip through my fingers,” he explained.

“This time around, I wasn’t going to let that happen, I was going to max out the amount of money and on Sunday everything worked out in my favour.”

Vold is the third cowboy to win back-to-back Canadian titles in the last 10 years. Dusty LaValley was the last one to complete the repeat doing it twice, in 2010-11 and 2006-07 while Kyle Bowers won the title in 2008 and 2009. In total, there have been 12 repeat champions in the event dating back to the inception of the Canadian championship in 1945 10 of those winning back-to-back (three of those did the feat twice), while two won it multiple times Bob Duce with five from 1949 to 1953 and Dale Trottier’s record of six from 1969 to 1974.

For his part, Vold isn’t worrying about any records or what’s gone on in the part, his focus is on finishing off the season strong at the Chute-out event in Las Vegas that runs Dec. 10 to 12.

“Keeping an eye on the prize and on my goals has really helped in continuing to try and be a dominant force at each rodeo I’ve been at,” he stated.

“And things have changed, even from a few years ago when I came onto the pro circuit. It’s tougher now as everyone works hard to get better and try to one up everybody. For me, it’s just about keeping that confidence in myself and constantly learning something new.”

Once the Vegas event is over, Vold will take a brief rest before getting back on the training regime in order to start off next year with his first rodeo in Denver at the end of January and will once again look at the goals of winning at home in Ponoka again along with adding to his CFR title honours.

“Winning another Canadian championship would be the icing on the cake and it’s always great to win in Ponoka, and one always likes to make it to Calgary because winning there is life-changing,” he added.

Flewelling, who finished the season with $38,800, was glad to see two Ponoka area cowboys win the championship. He grew up in the Lacombe and Ponoka area and got his rodeo start with Vold in the Battle River High School Rodeo Association.

Winning wasn’t as secure as for Vold. “It took right to the end with Levi (Simpson) and Jeremy (Buhler) in the last round,” said Flewelling.

Simpson, who is also from Ponoka, finished second overall with just over $3,000 behind Flewelling who said his and McFadden’s goal was to stay second in the average. That strategy worked and earned them the win. The stock proved good enough to test every rodeo athlete’s skill.

Flewelling was able to see the stock in Ponoka before heading to the CFR and he knew it was going to push his skills. “It’s probably the best steers we ever had from there.”

“You just never know how the week’s going to play out,” he added.

With the prize money so high first place earned $12,000, or $6,000 each for team ropers a contestant in last place still has a chance to come back and win. In Vold’s case, he was sitting with a large first place margin at the outset of the CFR but two first place wins by Caleb Bennett dropped the gap by $24,000.

First place winners are invited to the Houston Livestock and Rodeo show in March where prize money is estimated at $50,000, says Flewelling. This was his fifth appearance at the CFR and third Canadian championship.

While there had to be a first place winner, Ponoka was well represented this year with Simpson taking second place in team roping. Zane Lambert was in the running for the championship in bull riding, but was bucked off on the last day, which landed him at second place, just $500 behind the leader.

Correction: In the original story it was stated that Vold was bucked off once during the week. That is incorrect, Vold completed all six rides of the week. We regret the error.

Just Posted

Maskwacis and feds sign historic education agreement

The Maskwacis Education School Commission signed an agreement setting the stage for their education

UPDATE: Puppies rescued at structure fire in Lacombe

The Bentley Fire Department assisted Lacombe in a structure fire where crews saved some puppies

Trial for man accused of 2006 Eckville murder “unreasonably delayed”

Lacombe’s Shayne Gulka is awaiting trial for the 2006 murder of Bradley Webber

Producers are already charging customers for recycle services

Fixed recycle fees are built-in to packaging rates by producers across the country.

Bringing composting to Ponoka is a simple step

For $2 extra per month, Ponoka residents can see compost collections

VIDEO: Canadians rise for early-morning Royal wedding celebrations

Canadians gathered for early-morning broadcast of marriage between Meghan Markle, Prince Harry

3 survivors after airliner with 110 aboard crashes in Cuba

It was Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in three decades and its third major air accident since 2010

Individuals face 84 criminal charges related to stolen, counterfeit credit cards

Investigation and search warrant executed collaboratively by Red Deer and Sylvan Lake RCMP

Plane with 104 on board crashes on takeoff in Cuba

Boeing 737 operated by state airline Cubana crashed on takeoff from Jose Marti International Airport

UPDATED: Gunman opens fire in Texas high school, killing up to 10

Santa Fe High School which went on lockdown around 8 a.m. Friday

Coroner speaks about mix-up of Humboldt Broncos crash victims, release of name

A coroner involved says it wasn’t until an injured player woke up in hospital and said he was a different person that officials realized the mistake

‘Nowhere near close:’ U.S. rebuffs Trudeau hope for quick NAFTA deal

The United States declared the NAFTA countries were nowhere close to a deal in a statement Thursday

Prices at the pump spike as long weekend brings out Canadian drivers

Motorists in many parts of Canada are expected to see rising gasoline prices as they fire up their vehicles for road adventures on the Victoria Day long weekend.

Humboldt Broncos resolve trademark issue with junior hockey league

The Humboldt Broncos hockey club says they will have a team ready to hit the ice for the 2018-19 season.

Most Read