Airdrie cowboy shakes off pain for good start at Stampede

Flint Rasmussen

Flint Rasmussen

JEFF MACKINNON, FOR THE CALGARY HERALD

Jake Vold was so sore Thursday morning he had to fall out of bed to start the day.

Wednesday involved such a horrible experience in hindsight he would have been better off just staying in bed the whole day.

However, Friday couldn’t have been a better day as the Canadian bareback star, who hails from Ponoka but now lives just outside of Airdrie, recorded the top ride of Day 1 at the 2015 Calgary Stampede.

No official day winner was announced because a re-ride horse was not available for Regina’s Ty Taypotat after all available re-ride horses had already been used. He’ll have that ride Saturday. 

The only Canadian bareback rider to reach the National Finals Rodeo in 2015, Vold scored an 89 on City Sites to open the Calgary rodeo competition in fine style.

Vold was able to rebound from a bad final night at his hometown rodeo on Canada Day when he was thrown by Grated Coconut’s son Special Delivery, costing Vold a sizable cheque.

“I was pretty ticked off the other night from Ponoka so I kind of cooled down again and got grounded and tried to go out and make a good ride,” he said.

Vold put $7,797 in his pocket going into the four-man showdown in Ponoka when disaster struck with two mean bucks from Special Delivery that he couldn’t recover from. 

Vold said he wasn’t very familiar with City Sites, which is owned by Justin Toogood of Red Deer. He saw him previously once in Sundre being ridden successfully by Jesse Davis, he said. Toogood left Vold a message Thursday night telling him his horse was a good draw and it turns out he was telling the truth.

“I can tell he’s got lots of timing and that means he’s getting in the air, probably,” Vold said. “Other than that he’s got an electric feeling and makes a guy look good that’s for sure.”

Vold “buggered up his neck and everything was seizing up” after his round of 12 ride in Ponoka and said he couldn’t tuck his chin during his final ride.

“Not using that as an excuse, because you definitely forget about it when you’re getting on a bucking horse,” he said. “I was beat up and sore and I couldn’t crawl out of bed (Thursday) morning. I had to roll over and fall out of bed. I went and got some X-rays and everything came back good.”

Vold was coming off an impressive 2014 season in Canada, winning what is believed to be a record 12 rodeos this side of the border. He finished sixth in the 2014 world standings, winning money in eight of 10 rounds in Las Vegas after qualifying off just 44 rodeos.

“I don’t want to be one of these guys who makes it off 100 rodeos and that’s the same as this year,” he said.

“I went all winter (to the States) and some this spring to some (rodeos) I hadn’t been to, to try and make up some ground and it wasn’t working so I decided to stay at home the last month and Canadian rodeo.

“These last few weeks have been just awesome, probably the best June I’ve ever had in Canada. It’s bumped me probably right back in the hunt (for the NFR).”

When asked, Vold guessed that he had won more than $20,000 the past couple of weeks on his home soil. He hesitated to talk much about how much he loved Cowboy Christmas, the stretch of heavy rodeo scheduling that included Ponoka.

“I don’t want to jinx myself. It’s my favourite time of year,” he said.