He’s won three Canadian Finals Rodeo championships and a host of other professional rodeos, but there’s still one title that eludes Airdrie bareback rider Jake Vold – the Calgary Stampede.
After finishing a career-best second in the bareback competition at “the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” in 2018, Vold was primed for another shot at the Calgary Stampede rodeo’s $100,000 payout. The 32-year-old cowboy qualified for his third consecutive Showdown Sunday by finishing first in Pool A during the Stampede rodeo preliminaries, held July 5 to 8.
But a knee injury sustained after he was bucked on his final preliminary ride, July 8, means Vold’s Stampede plans will have to wait yet another year.
“I wrecked my knee, so I’ve actually spent all morning [July 9] getting MRIs done,” Vold said. “We don’t know what happened, but something definitely happened – we’re waiting for results.”
Despite coming into the 2019 Stampede with a nagging shoulder injury, Vold started the competition with a bang – he recorded back-to-back wins July 5 and 6, scoring 88 points atop Mushroom Cloud on the rodeo’s opening afternoon, followed by an 86-point ride on Mile Away the next day.
The two first-place rides netted Vold an $11,000 aggregate payout and a comfortable lead at the top of the Pool A standings. The positive results kept coming July 7, when he scored 81 points to maintain his pole position in Pool A.
However, the golden rides ended July 8, when his horse – Young Carma – bucked him after just a couple of seconds and appeared to stomp on Vold once he’d hit the ground.
“The first few rides went good. It’s just the way she goes sometimes – that’s rodeo,” he said. “It sucks, for sure.”
Though getting bucked resulted in a “no-score,” Vold’s earlier performances kept him in first place, just $500 ahead of American cowboy Taylor Broussard.
After an MRI scan July 9, Vold said he wouldn’t know the nature of the injury until a meeting with a doctor July 11, after press time, but he confirmed he wouldn’t be continuing in the Stampede and will likely be undergoing rehabilitation for the next few weeks.
“We’ll see the doctors [July 11] and go from there,” he said.
For Vold, the incident brought back memories of the 2016 Calgary Stampede, when he qualified for Showdown Sunday but had to sit out due to a back injury.