Airdronian’s CFR streak ends at three

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Airdronian Jake Vold’s run of consecutive Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) Bareback Riding titles stopped at three when he fell just short of a fourth title Nov. 12.

Vold’s bid for a fourth-straight title came right down to the wire, with the 30-year-old coming less than $1,000 short of the 2017 winner, Seth Hardwick. Although his streak ended at three, Vold said he isn’t disappointed with the result and will be coming back just as hungry in future years.

“All good things come to an end eventually,” Vold said. “I’ll be back again next year, strong and looking for my fourth (title).

“Hats off to Seth Hardwick, he’s a buddy of mine and rides really well…. He had a phenomenal week.”

The Airdronian came into the 44th and final CFR to be held at Northland Coliseum in Edmonton with $49,834 in season earnings, and was more than $15,000 clear of the next closest rider (JR Vezain). But there is a lot of money to be won at CFR and Vold saw his lead shrink throughout the five-day event.

Although Vold wasn’t able to maintain his lead through the six go-rounds, the bareback rider put himself in position to repeat, outright winning two go-rounds (Nov. 9 and 12) and earning some cash for a fourth place finish during the Nov. 11 matinee event.

Vold said his most costly error was being bucked off during the Nov. 11 evening event, giving Hardwick his opportunity to pass Vold.

On the final go-round, Vold did everything he could to put pressure on Hardwick and scored an 88 to take first, which made Hardwick need to get second place to win.

“I had to let it all hang out and go for the win,” Vold said. “That’s kind of my style anyways, go for the gusto.

“When it comes down to that Sunday (Nov. 12), I did everything I could, let the cards lay and see what happens. Unfortunately, it didn’t go my way this year.”

Hardwick scored an 86.75 and finished second in the go-round to pass Vold in the money total and win the CFR title.

With such a top-level crop of riders in this year’s finals, Vold said he knew he had to ride his best and put up high scores in order to defend his title. He added the competition brought out the best in him as a rider.

“It was good. It makes you ride up and becomes more of a spurring contest instead of a drawing contest,” Vold said.

Now that the CFR is behind him, Vold turns his attention to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev., Dec. 7 to 16, where he will compete in his third world championship in four seasons.

Vold said he is excited to continue his season and looks forward to bouncing back with a strong performance.

“I’ve got some ground to make up, but I’m ready for it now,” Vold said. “I’m chomping at the bit to get down there and see what happens.

“It pays so good down there and I would love to win a world title, that is definitely on my mind. I’m $100,000 behind (the leader), but it doesn’t take long to make it up.”

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