Photo by Les Stukenberg.
Originally Published: March 26, 2017 6:03 a.m.
Harry Vold, longtime Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Hall of Fame stock contractor for the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo and the National Finals Rodeo (NFR), among several others, died in his sleep at home in Avondale, Colorado, March 13. He was 93.
Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo General Manager J.C. Trujillo said earlier this month that Vold and his company have provided superior stock animals for the Prescott rodeo since 1973. The Harry Vold Rodeo Company continues to do so under the leadership of Harry’s daughter, Kirsten Vold.
Harry Vold and Trujillo were inducted into the PRCA Hall of Fame in the same class of 1994.
“He was the kind of a guy you felt honored to be his friend and for him to know you,” Trujillo said. “I learned that when Harry Vold talks, everybody that knows him listens. He knew a lot about the rodeo business and a lot about the bucking horse business.”
Trujillo added that he first got to know Vold while competing as a pro bareback rider in the 1970s and ’80s. He calls Vold a “cowboy contractor,” a man who wanted a cowboy to win on one of his tough bucking horses. Trujillo was the best man in the wedding of one of Harry’s sons, Doug, and once served on the PRCA board with Harry.
“Through my rodeo career, Harry was a very respected man, stock contractor, by everybody,” Trujillo said. “Not just the cowboys. From [rodeo] committee people to specialty acts to all the contestants.”
Vold, affectionately known as the “Duke of the Chutes,” made a point of attending Prescott Frontier Days, which typically runs from late June through early July at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds on the city’s west side. Kirsten took over the Vold company’s operations in recent years and works the Prescott rodeo.
Trujillo said Prescott Frontier Days recently signed a new five-year contract with the Vold Rodeo Company before Harry died.
“We’ve got a good contract with them, and to reassure that we’ll keep this thing that we’ve developed going, hopefully forever,” Trujillo added.
According to an obituary published on the PRCA’s website, Vold represents “one of only two stock contractors to provide animals for every National Finals Rodeo [the Super Bowl of pro rodeo], which has been held annually since 1959.”
Born Jan. 24, 1924, on a ranch near Ponoka, Alberta, Canada, Vold would come to own and operate one of the largest stock contracting companies in North America.
Harry Vold Rodeo Company, based in southern Colorado, “produces rodeos in seven states annually” and “provides bucking stock for over 100 rodeo performances each year,” the company’s website says.
An 11-time PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year, Vold became known for raising highly acclaimed broncs and bulls for the past 43 years.
The Vold Rodeo Company website added that Harry would raise “approximately 35 colts and 15 bulls every year on his 30,000-acre ranch,” 25 miles southeast of Pueblo, Colorado.
The website adds that, through the years, Vold “established a select herd of brood mares and cows that are proven producers. His extensive breeding experience allows him to concentrate on quality, not quantity, resulting in a higher percentage of success in his ‘born to buck’ breeding program.”
In recent years, Kirsten, Harry’s youngest daughter, has managed the company, although Harry had remained actively involved.
“My dad enjoyed rodeo more than anyone I know,” Kirsten said in the PRCA’s obit, published March 14. “The PRCA meant a lot to him. He dedicated his life to the sport of rodeo and he believed in everything those four letters [PRCA] stood for. He passed away in his sleep like every good cowboy should.”
A memorial service was held for Vold last Monday at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which Trujillo attended. The PRCA named Vold a Legend of ProRodeo in 2009.
“He’s made a lot of friends and done a lot of things in rodeo,” Kirsten added about her father in the PRCA story. “I would say he had no regrets with how he spent his life because there’s nothing he would have rather done than spend it in a rodeo arena on the back of a black horse, and he got to do that for many, many years.”
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