A Ponoka man who made his name in the rodeo world has passed away.
Harry Vold, who was born on a ranch near Ponoka in 1924, died peacefully in his sleep on March 13 at his home in Avondale, Colo. He was 93 years old.
Known as the “Duke of The Chutes,” Vold will be remembered forever for his dedication and enjoyment of the sport of rodeo as well as for the work done with the Harry Vold Rodeo Company.
While Vold did attempt to compete, in bareback and saddle bronc, he had no ambition to be a full-time rodeo cowboy. Instead, his real interest was first in the horse and auctioneer business, followed by rodeo.
He would soon come to operate one of the largest rodeo stock companies in North America — now based in southern Colorado — one he operated until only a few years ago. The company not only produces rodeos south the border, but provides bucking stock for more than 100 rodeo performances annually and is just one of two contractors that has provided the stock for every one of the National Finals Rodeos held.
Some of the most acclaimed stock used in North America has come from the Vold stable, including the PRCA bronc of the year nine times, the 2010 saddle bronc of the year and bull of the year four times.
Vold’s breeding program, primarily with bucking horses, has led to seven animals being voted top bucking stock of the year – two of which have been repeat winners. Over the years, Vold stock has appeared at every major rodeo in the United States, and several in Canada.
In addition, Vold has seen many achievements come his way. That includes induction into the Pro Rodeo and Canadian halls of fame, a life member of the Ponoka Stampede, 11-time PRCA and two time World Professional Rodeo Association contractor of the year and induction into several rodeo halls of fame in the U.S. — one of which is the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.
“I would hope people would remember that he was a true, loyal and honest friend,” said Kirsten, who will continue to run her father’s rodeo company.
A memorial service for Vold is scheduled to be held at the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs on March 20 beginning at 1 p.m.