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Doug Vold

by Abe Morris - 8/25/2004
from Humps N' Horns

Most PRCA cowboys know Doug Vold as a carefree veteran bronc rider that loves to slam down a few beers and have a good ol' time. He is well known to 'dance to the beat of his own drum'. But, there is another side of Doug that the rodeo world can truly appreciate and admire.

Doug is a savvy businessman and truly loves the profession that he is involved with 365 days of the year. He is a consummate rodeo cowboy that has a passion and an eye for good bucking horses. Doug, who is now 51 years old, is a good guy to have on your side. Personally, I have always liked Doug because he is truly a character in his own right and a throwback to the rodeo days of the bygone era. I have known Doug for a few years and have heard through the grapevine a few stories about him that are not suitable for printing in the mainstream media. But, I must admit that I sure got a good laugh out of listening to them.

As far as I know, he did not break any laws (maybe a few rules, hearts and pool sticks) though. But, then again none of us are perfect and are all prone to step over the line a time or two during our lifetime. Some of these stories and antics have garnered Doug the popular nickname of 'Scrufty'. But, Doug has long since cleaned up his act and shed this monicker.

Doug's father is Harry Vold from Avondale, CO, a well known PRCA stock contractor who has produced the world famous Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo (the Daddy of 'em All) for several years now. His brothers and sisters, Wayne, Donna (Larsen), Darce, Kirsten (Gilbert) and Nancy, are also well known throughout the world of rodeo.

Doug has settled down quite a bit and is now a family man. He has been married for 18 years to Allison, a flight attendant who works for Air Canada. They have two children, Jeremy 12 and Allison 7. They spend part of the year north of the border in DeWinton, Alberta, Canada. Their summers are spent either on the rodeo trail or the family ranch in Avondale, CO.

Doug Vold was a world-class saddle bronc rider that should have qualified for the National Finals Rodeo on many occasions. On July 3, 1979, he set a PRCA record of 95 points in the saddle bronc riding event on Vern Franklin's Transport at Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. Considering that the scoring in the riding events is a little higher these days, this was an incredible feat. The mark stood for 27 years and was tied by 2002 World Champion Glen O' Neill on Franklin's Airwolf in Innisfail, Alberta in 1996.

Doug reminisced saying, "That ride was probably the highest point and one of the most memorable in my rodeo career." The lowest point in his career occurred because of a ride that he did not make.

Doug was traveling with Brian Claypool, Gary Logan and Lee Coleman who were all superb riding event contestants from Canada. Claypool, who also competed in saddle bronc riding had already qualified for the NFR twice in the bull riding event. Gary Logan was a bareback rider and currently in the top 15 in the world standings.

They were utilizing a small private airplane that was piloted by Brian Claypool and had all just competed at the rodeo in Las Vegas, NV. This is before the NFR was moved there on a permanent basis.

Doug was up to his usual self and was out getting drunk with a few chuck wagon racers from Canada. Anxious to get airborne the pilot, Brain Claypool, warned Doug that they needed to get going. After a disagreement, Doug was replaced at the last minute by Calvin Bunney another bronc rider from Canada.

On May 23, 1979, the four Canadians took off for another rodeo in Cloverdale, BC. The ill-fated flight never made it and crashed in the mountains over a very remote area near Roseburg, OR. Four very talented rodeo cowboys lost their lives and Doug Vold lost four very dear friends. The wreckage was not discovered until several months later by some unsuspecting hunters.

Doug recalls that, "This was probably the lowest point in my rodeo career." All of Doug's rodeo equipment, chaps and his bronc saddle also burned in the wreckage of this small aircraft.

It was only six weeks later in Meadow Lake, SK, that he set the PRCA record after replacing all of his equipment.

At the evening PBR event on Tuesday July 27, 2004 Doug was in a very festive mood because that afternoon a new arena record of 80 points in the Rookie Saddle Bronc riding event had been set on one of his new horses. The arena record of 82 points was set again by Chauncey Williams from Moorcroft, WY, on Sunday, August 1st during the Finals.

In chatting with Doug at Cheyenne this year, he related to me that he would consider his occupation and career to be a full-time horse trader. Dale Kling a PRCA bareback rider from Killdeer, ND, said that, "Doug is one of the driving forces behind the bucking horse market. He has forced a lot of other rodeo producers that are involved in the bucking horse industry to step up to the plate. He has helped raise the bar as far as the quantity and quality of good bucking horses that are available."

Doug is one of the reasons that the Breeder's Classic Bucking Horse Sale that is held annually in Killdeer has been so successful for the past eight years. Several stock contractors from the PRCA, as well as the IPRA attend this event. It will be held this year from September 29th through October 1st.

One fond memory I have of Doug Vold happened at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in July 1983. Rodeo fans that are familiar with the layout of the rodeo there are constantly entertained because of the arena, as well as the race track events that are held during the performance. Many of these are simultaneously held and the astute fans need to pay attention and constantly be on their toes.

Doug had successfully ridden his bronc that had bucked straight across the huge arena at Cheyenne. Right before his horse got to the other side, a bunch of race horses blazed by on the track right in front of the grand stands.

Not wanting to be left out of the big race, his bucking horse leaped over the small fence with Doug still aboard and immediately gave chase. Doug being the character that he is, started to ham it up, wildly whipping his bronc rein in an over and under fashion in order to urge his trusty steed to run even faster. His spontaneous antics were very crowd- pleasing. The rodeo fans ate it up. A rodeo committee man had to open a gate to allow a couple of pick up men to join in the great race. It was pretty funny.

People that are familiar with Cheyenne know that the race track encompasses the entire rodeo arena, one infield grand stand and all of the livestock holdings pens. During the wild horse race the riders disappear from view for about a minute or so before reappearing towards the end of the race.

Well, the rodeo action continued. All of a sudden for no apparent reason there was a huge roar from the crowd. At first, many of us cowboys did not realize what was going on. Then a few seconds later we all figured out that a pick up man had finally caught up to and rescued Doug Vold. He was being escorted back to the main arena and could have received a standing ovation. It was a great ending to a classic rodeo story.