Red Deer Advocate
Coming back to a competitive sport after several months on the injured list is no easy task. But Ponoka cowboy Jake Vold is making it look easy.
The talented bareback rider was making a jet rocket ride up the world standings at the winter rodeos, when disaster struck in late April. Vold suffered a badly broken ankle while competing in California, and after surgery, was out of commission.
“The weekend definitely went pretty good,” commented the 24-year-old, after competing recently at Strathmore’s pro rodeo.
Vold won the very first rodeo he came back at, and hasn’t slowed down since. In two weeks he won more than $8,000, and has hopes of making the season-end playoffs again.
What was the secret to his post-injury preparations?
“Just mindset. I rode the bucking machine a little bit. I rode my saddle horse at home a little bit. Just trying to keep a positive attitude. I had nothing to lose, so might as well just go at it,” he grinned.
Vold cashed in for fourth at Strathmore, second at Abbotsford, and tied for second at Medicine Hat.
“I had lots of ground to make up, and I was wanting to do something when I came back.”
To be eligible for the Canadian Finals Rodeo, competitors have to attend at least 15 Canadian rodeos.
Vold had only one, his Camrose victory, to his credit before getting hurt.
So he has some miles to make if he wants to get back to Edmonton this November, or even the National Finals in December But while Vold’s success rate has been impressive, the ankle isn’t fully healed.
“It’s sore,” he admits. “It’s sore every time, but it’s getting better and better every weekend, which is good. I’ve got kind of like a half-cast deal I put on both sides of it, and a tape job. I put on as much as I can but as little as I can, just to keep it so I can still move it and stuff.”
Being able to compete at Strathmore was his goal, and he beat that by a bit.
The horse he drew at Strathmore was Buckwheat, a mount he knew well.
“That’s the fourth time I’ve had him, and I knew lots about him. I just kind of got a game plan together, and it worked out all right.”
Vold’s mark of 83.5 earned him $3,200 toward his Canadian standings climb, now inside the top 10 range.
Matt Fawcett of Stettler and Brett Buss of Ponoka claimed the team roping honours at Strathmore in 5.5 seconds, earning $2,813 apiece. Ponoka saddle bronc rider Luke Butterfield split second at Strathmore with an 82.25 on Yellow Hair, for $4,565, but he was also second at Abbotsford for another $1,300 and placed at Medicine Hat as well.