Vold gunning for $100,000 prize after missing out on Showdown Sunday 2016
By: Zach Cormier
Jake Vold has got some unfinished business to attend to at this year’s Calgary Stampede.
After qualifying for Showdown Sunday at the 2016 edition of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, the then-29-year-old bareback rider was forced to back out of the competition due to a rib injury he had suffered in Ponoka a week before.
Now, though, Vold is back in the money round and he’s on a mission to win it all.
“I was looking forward to getting back to Calgary again and so far it’s been going my way,” said Vold, who on Monday claimed the fourth and final Showdown Sunday spot in Pool A with total earnings of $9,000 thanks to two big-time rides.
The Airdrie cowboy earned second-place day money in the first and third go-rounds of Pool A with 87 and 87.5-point rides respectively, but his week was far from perfect.
Tough draws which led to a 77-point ride on Saturday and a 76.5 on Monday almost put his Showdown Sunday spot in jeopardy, giving J.R. Vezain an opportunity to leapfrog him in the standings.
Despite the close call, though, Vold said he’s not worried about the two low scoring rides.
“I just didn’t have the stock to perform on, you know? Luck of the draw there, but everybody had a couple of those. I was just fortunate the couple of decent ones I had were the ones to win money on,” he said.
Now, as he prepares to compete on one of the richest days in rodeo, Vold said he’s hoping to draw on his vast well of experience in big-time events to help him lift the famous $100,000 cheque on Sunday.
“I guess with some age comes some wisdom,” laughed the 30-year-old, who won his third consecutive Canadian championship this past November.
“Every year you get a little older, you get a little wiser too. I guess a guy still gets nervous here and there, everybody does but you learn from your experiences and you learn how to handle certain situations,” he said, adding that those butterflies are especially prevalent at big rodeos like the Wrangler NFR and Stampede.
“Especially in Calgary there’s a lot of people watching, a lot of pressure there, a lot of money up where you definitely want to perform at the top of your game and I think it takes some experience to learn how to do that.”
Vold is also heading into Showdown Sunday with a full head of steam after winning his second straight Showdown round at the Ponoka Stampede and picking up a big 4th place cheque at Williams Lake that same weekend.
“Anytime you come off a big weekend like that, or any big-money rodeo, you take that momentum going onto the next one. It definitely helped coming into Calgary on a high and I was fortunate enough to get through my pool.
“Now I just sit around for a couple of days and wait until Sunday.”