Anyone watching round eight of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) in Las Vegas will recall seeing bareback rider Jake Vold’s chances at a buckle dashed.
Ponoka-raised Vold was at his third WNFR leading the average Dec. 14 and set to ride Redigo, from the Beutler and Son Rodeo Company, on the eighth night of rodeo, when the horse fell against the chute coming into the arena, causing a serious knee injury.
The week itself saw Vold with his share of success.
“It was a good week,” said Vold. “Started off with a bang.”
He won the go round on the first night with a ride of 87.5 on Kesler Championship Rodeo’s Oakridge, earning just over $26,000 from the deal.
The chances of a win were tough; Tim O’Connell was at least $100,000 ahead of Vold, but at the WNFR the payouts are high enough that it’s possible to catch up.
“I had a game plan coming in, and I just stuck to it,” said Vold.
That plan came in the form of strong starts and finishes.
For the most part, Vold was making some serious gains with seven of the 10 rounds doing well. On the second day, Vold tied for third/fourth spot with 87 points. On the third day, he placed third scoring another 87.
“I was trying to win you know. Not holding anything back,” said Vold.
Things were looking up, with Vold earning close to $80,000 in those first seven days.
He said while there’s nothing simple about performing at the WNFR, he kept things simple and focused on one ride at a time.
Having competed two other times in Las Vegas, Vold knew what to expect.
Looking back at the video, Vold says he’s still not sure how Redigo fell against the chute, but, one thing’s for certain, he was unable to bend his knee.
“He (Redigo) just kind of threw himself in the post … and dislocated my knee cap right through,” said Vold, adding he banged his head pretty good.
Vold was granted a re-ride, so sport medicine crews attended to him to see if there was anything they could do to get him on another horse.
They tried a brace but that didn’t work, and Vold made the decision to stop. He decided it’s better to ride again rather than do irreparable damage to his leg.
Since then Vold has returned to his Airdrie home and is waiting to hear about surgery dates. He knows it will be a couple months before he can begin the rehab and conditioning process, but he is excited to focus on next season.