by Dianne Finstad
Special to the Advocate
Winning the Ponoka Stampede means one for the career highlights list. It’s a major accomplishment, not to mention the big cash accompanying the title and prizes can change a season around.
But if you’re a hometown cowboy, it means even more.
Ponoka’s Jake Vold won the opening round of bareback riding with his 86.75 mark, then won third with an 88 on the reputation horse Ross River in the Monday afternoon Finals, to claim the average. So he was up $10,485 before he even nodded his head on the Calgary Stampede horse Stampede Warrior in the Showdown round. Vold was the last man out, and with two marks of 89.75 already on the board, he had little choice but to go for it when he nodded his head.
It was an impressive sight with his spurs flashing in the setting sun at his hometown Stampede ground while the crowd roared, and when the whistle blew, the judges saw it as an impressive 91.75, giving Vold the five thousand dollars for first and a championship buckle.
“I just knew I was going to have to be 90 or nothing,” said Vold, with excitement. “Which is kind of my style anyway, but it definitely worked out.”
Vold also cashed in at both Williams Lake and Airdrie, for a profitable weekend.
“I’ve seen that horse lots and she has a couple of different trips, but just the way everything was turning out, I was going to have to go for it. She worked out just perfect. In the middle of the ride, I knew I had her tapped off there. It felt phenomenal, it was awesome.”
“To win it here means everything. I’ve never done good here, since the novice which I won back years ago. I’ve been hurt a few times, and never got to compete. It feels great.”
Vold agrees the hardest rodeo to win is often the hometown one.
“Definitely. I’m never nervous and all weekend, I’ve just been nervous, sweating and stuff, but it’s been perfect.”
The saddle bronc championship at Ponoka was captured by Jacobs Crawley of Stephenville Texas, with an 89.25 ride on Lunatic Party in the Showdown, to collect $10.990.
Steer wrestler Todd Maughn was thinking this might be his last year at the Ponoka Stampede, but now he’ll have to come back to defend his title after winning a much sought after championship in Ponoka, with a 4.2 second run Sunday night. He claimed his rodeo career is taking a back seat to a good job now, and that he would still be at work Monday morning. But he’s got a $9097 bonus from his weekend hobby. Timber Moore of Aubrey, Texas was the tie down roping champion with a time of seven seconds flat, for a haul of $10,834.
The team roping honors went to Brett McCarroll of Camrose and Clint Buhler of Okotoks, with their time of 5.9 seconds, while Brenda Mays of Oregon took the barrel racing with a time of 17.380, for $10,652. Black Diamond’s Tyler Thomson claimed first place in the bull riding and $7931 for an 88 point Showdown ride on Team Paige. Thomson took the place of Garrett Green, who had earned the right to be in the bull riding finals, but Kiss This had left him battered and bruised in the afternoon round, and he wasn’t able to take his bull. The Meeting Creek cowboy still won $5977.
The $50,000 Dash for Cash for the pro chuckwagons went to Roger Moore of Loon Lake, Saskatchewan, who captured the big cheque in a time of 1:14:27 in his second straight year in the final heat.
The legendary Keith Wood won the All Pro Canadian Chuckwagon Championship heat with a time of 1:12:70 for the $10,000 bonus.
Clayton Moore of Pouce Coupe, BC was the high point winner of the Ponoka Stampede. The novice bareback riding went to Spur Lacasse of Cochrane, while Kansas cowboy Dalton Davis took the novice saddle bronc title, with Conner Faucher of Calgary taking boys steer riding.