COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The rodeo world lost a legend Monday.
ProRodeo Hall of Fame stock contractor Harry Vold passed away March 13. He was 93.
Vold, who was known as the “Duke of the Chutes” passed away in his sleep at his home in Avondale, Colo.
“My dad enjoyed rodeo more than anyone I know,” said Kirsten Vold, Harry’s daughter. “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 will take place at 1 p.m. (MT) March 20 at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo., 101 Pro Rodeo Drive.
Vold is one of only two stock contractors to provide animals for every National Finals Rodeo, which has been held annually since 1959.
“He’s made a lot of friends and done a lot of things in rodeo,” Kirsten said. “I would say he had no regrets with how he spent his life because there’s nothing he would have rather have 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.”
Vold was born Jan. 29, 1924, in Edmonton, Alberta. Vold tried his hand at bareback and saddle bronc riding, but he never had any ambition to be a full-time cowboy.
His interest was in the horse business and auctioneering, then in rodeo. His early exposure to stock contracting came with some of the greatest names in the business – Leo Cremer, Lynn Beutler and Harry Knight.
Vold’s breeding program, primarily with bucking horses, has led to seven animals being voted top bucking stock of the year – two of which have been repeat winners. Over the years, Vold stock has appeared at every major rodeo in the United States, and several in Canada.
“My philosophy is to put on the very best quality rodeo with top stock and top cowboys – wholesome family entertainment,” Harry once said.
Vold was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1994 and was named Legend of ProRodeo in 2009.
“I would hope people would remember that he was a true, loyal and honest friend,” said Kirsten, who will continue to run her father’s rodeo company.
Video courtesy of National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
Video courtesy of Cowhorse Productions
Courtesy of PRCA