Canadian rider Vold wins his 2015 Wrangler Champions Challenge debut
Jake Vold is still one of the hottest bareback riders in the business. The 27-year-old Canadian, who qualified for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2014, jump-started his 2015 season with a big win Feb. 4.
Vold had the winning ride in his debut at the Wrangler Champions Challenge, presented by Justin Boots, when he rode for 85 points on C5 Rodeo’s Black Feather at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
“This is my first rodeo of 2015, and to get a win right away feels awesome,” Vold said. “I sure enjoyed it. The guys here are the best of the best, and it really makes you want to show what you’ve got.”
It was Vold’s third trip on Black Feather; both horse and cowboy are from Alberta.
“All three times she’s been different,” Vold said. “I drew a good horse, and knew if I did my part, it could be good enough. She’s electric, and one you can definitely win on.”
Vold enjoyed a breakout season in 2014, and a successful WNFR debut in Las Vegas, as he finished fourth in the race for the average title, which enabled him to move from 11th to fourth in the final Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings.
“I had the attitude that I had nothing to lose and was just going to enjoy myself at my first NFR,” Vold said. “I drew good horses. I drew tough horses.”
He placed in eight of 10 rounds at the WNFR and won $74,988 at the Super Bowl of rodeo.
“I was really pleased to do so well. It felt awesome,” Vold said. “I didn’t pay much attention, but when it was all said and done, I thought, ‘Holy cow! This is amazing.’”
Vold was born in the historic rodeo town of Ponoka, Alberta, and lives in Airdrie, Alberta. His breakout season of 2014 resulted in earnings of $142,774 – a total he’d like to eclipse this year.
He got off to a good start in Rapid City by winning $5,440 – which will jump Vold from outside the top 50 in the world standings into 15th.
“I’ll try to enter the big (rodeos), and try to win at them,” Vold said. “I really want to get back to the NFR.”
Other winners at the $123,600 rodeo were all-around cowboy Trevor Brazile (second in tie-down roping and tied for fifth in the team roping heading for partner Patrick Smith, $4,800); steer wrestler Luke Branquinho (3.8 seconds); team ropers Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill (4.8 seconds); saddle bronc riders Chad Ferley (85 points on Sutton Rodeos’ Chuckulator) and Heith DeMoss (85 points on Bar T Rodeo’s Son Of Sadie); tie-down roper Monty Lewis (7.6 seconds); barrel racer Victoria Williams (12.21 seconds) and bull riders Brennon Eldred (84 points on C5 Rodeo’s Sid) and Dustin Bowen (84 points on New Frontier Rodeo’s Spit Ball).
The winning team was Pro Rodeo Gear, which was led by tie-down roping champion Monty Lewis and barrel racing winner Victoria Williams. Pro Rodeo Gear – which had 26,388 points, well ahead of runner-up Texas LandMen, with 17,888 – also got second-place finishes from bareback rider Seth Hardwick and team ropers Doyle Hoskins and Kinney Harrell, plus fourth-place finishes from steer wrestler Tanner Brunner and saddle bronc rider Brady Nicholes.
With all the money that was up for grabs last week, there was a lot of movement at the top of the world standings. Six of the nine top spots changed hands, with only all-around cowboy Trevor Brazile, bull rider Parker Breding and steer roper Scott Snedecor keeping their lead from the previous week. Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill, the two-time defending world champion team ropers, used their win at the Rapid City Wrangler Champions Challenge to move back to the top of the world standings, while tie-down roper Monty Lewis shot to the lead in his event. Lewis’ $22,033 is the second-most money in an individual event so far this season, just behind saddle bronc rider Cody DeMoss’ $23,244.