CHARLES TWEED/Ponoka News
Jake Vold has been holding onto bucking broncs and a top 15 spot on the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association’s (PRCA) world standings all year.
Vold shot out of the gate, opening the season with an $8,000 hit and top spot at the traditional season opener in January at Denver and he didn’t slow down. A first place finish in Camrose at the Spring Classic Pro Rodeo followed in March, sticking an 88-point ride on Outlaw Buckers’ Willow Creek in front of family and friends.
“So far it’s been going really good, I’ve been drawing some good horses and staying healthy. I’ve been making things work,” said Vold.
The humble Vold said he couldn’t take all the credit for his success. The draw is always interesting in rodeo and Vold has been pleased with the horses he’s been able to get on.
“The guys who are always winning the rodeos are getting on the good horses. Every rodeo you go to there is really only a few (horses) you can win on and I’ve been able to — not everywhere but at about half the rodeos — draw horses that suit me and I’ve been drawing some other ones that usually don’t and placing on them too,” said Vold. “Drawing some buckers.”
So much is made about the modern day athlete and how confidence and psychology play a major role in their success. Hockey players often speak about how the game seems to slow down when they are riding a wave of confidence. That they can see what is going to happen before it happens and Vold believes rodeo is no different.
“The confidence is right there. There is no worrying about it right now. I kind of told myself, before I went down there, that I had to win some money right off the bat and turned out I hit it big. It was huge, it’s what set the winter up for me,” said Vold. “I just show up calm and cool and do my thing, laugh and joke around but when it’s time to nod your head it’s all business.”
Vold believes it was a new-found dedication to the sport that put him over the top this year on the rodeo circuit. He became serious about working out and monitoring what he is putting in his body, something that might have been spurred on by the uncertainty of the rodeo world.
“The only difference between us and other professional athletes is that we don’t get a guaranteed cheque, so you pretty much gotta work your butt off. And all the top guys in the world, that’s what they do, so if you want to compete with them you have to do what they do. It’s a professional sport so the good guys are the guys who are in shape and work hard at it. It’s their career,” said Vold.
The 24-year-old cowboy sits in eighth spot in the PRCA World Standings collecting a total of about $19,000. His most recent result came at the Laughlin River Stampede in Nevada where he finished second to Tilden Hooper, who is in top spot in the standings.
Vold’s confidence and hard work are something he would like to translate into a good showing this year at the Ponoka Stampede — a place where he typically hasn’t fared too well. His best finish came last year when he finished in the crying hole in the short run.
“Yeah that’s always the plan,” said Vold with a chuckle when asked if he’d like to come home and put on a good show in front of friends and family at the stampede. “This year the riding has picked up a bit and I’m getting more and more experience. I work hard at it and hopefully I can keep it going.”