Ty Pozzobon (Black Press file photo)

Mental health video marks two years since bull rider Ty Pozzobon’s death

The beloved world-class bull rider committed suicide at his home in Merritt, B.C., on Jan. 9, 2017

On the second anniversary of the death of Merritt pro bull rider Ty Pozzobon, the Ty Pozzobon Foundation and Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team released the second in a series of mental health awareness videos.

The rodeo world was shocked on Jan. 9 of 2017, when Pozzobon, a beloved world-class bull rider, committed suicide at age 25 at his home in Merritt.

Pozzobon had suffered a number of concussions over his rodeo career, and had been suffering from depression and anxiety in the days and weeks leading up to his death.

The Pozzobon family made the decision after his death to donate his brain to traumatic brain injury research and, shortly after, the Ty Pozzobon Foundation was created to work with the rodeo sports medicine team to promote competitors’ health and well-being.

Nine months after Pozzobon’s death, researchers at the University of Washington announced he was the first confirmed case of a professional bull rider with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease known to affect boxers, football players and other athletes who suffer numerous concussions.

His family has been vocal advocates in bringing awareness to the issue of mental and physical health in rodeo.

Many members of the rodeo community worldwide have become more open in discussing some of the concussions and some of the other challenges facing the sport.

READ MORE: Bull rider Ty Pozzobon’s donated brain reveals chronic traumatic brain disease

Former Riske Creek bull rider Hugh Loring came forward in the months after his friend’s death to discuss the impacts a career-ending brain injury continue to have on his life.

“I hope with more people talking about it, it will help others understand just how serious a head injury is,” Loring said during a 2017 interview.

“Maybe our little buddy could have still been here if we knew more about it. I’d like to learn more about it, myself, so I can help others.”

READ MORE: Pozzobon death hits home for Riske Creek family

The first video in the series, released by the rodeo sports medicine team, focused on concussion awareness, while the latest video more broadly addressing the importance of mental health.

“The central theme of this video from the contestant perspective is that ‘It’s okay to say I’m not okay,’” Brandon Thome, the team’s vice-president, said.

“We want there to be a realization that there is help out there. We also hope those involved in western sport continue to learn more to take further care of themselves.”

READ MORE: Family issues statement on Pozzobon’s passing

Since its creation in February 2017, the Ty Pozzobon Foundation has raised more than $250,000 to support and protect the health and well-being of western sports participation inside and outside the arena.

Rodeo athletes throughout North America have been fully supportive of the cause and Pozzobon since his death, with many friends carrying on Pozzobon’s legacy sporting “Live Like Ty” logos embroidered on their rodeo gear.



sports@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

94 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta on Wednesday, two more deaths

1,146 active cases with 9,891 recovered cases

UCP government making changes to the Assessment Model Review; County of Wetaskiwin could see a 70 per cent hike in taxes

Changes would cause a 35.5-70.7 per cent residential mill rate for the County of Wetaskiwin.

COVID-19: One more death reported in central zone

Number of active cases has decreased by more than 200 since last week

Thorsby RCMP investigate August long weekend shooting

Thorsby RCMP arrest youth in relation to the late night shooting.

Wetaskiwin businesses robbed tail end of August long weekend

Multiple businesses off of 56 Street in Wetaskiwin, Alta. were broken into.

Protestors for Indigenous Lives Matter gather in Wetaskiwin

Protestors for Indigenous Lives Matter gathered in Wetaskiwin, Alta. Tuesday August 4,… Continue reading

Alberta man’s body recovered from Okanagan Lake after five-day search

‘The depth of the water, as well as the topography of the lake, made the recovery of the deceased very challenging’ - RCMP

Feds look to finalize deal with airlines amid contact tracing concerns

Feds look to finalize deal with airlines amid contact tracing concerns

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Booking.com cuts workforce by thousands as travel atrophies

Booking.com cuts workforce by thousands as travel atrophies

Ford COO Jim Farley to lead company, CEO Hackett to retire

Ford COO Jim Farley to lead company, CEO Hackett to retire

Stingray CEO expects rapid growth as COVID’s impact fades, new services unfold

Stingray CEO expects rapid growth as COVID’s impact fades, new services unfold

TSX closes higher as energy, loonie strengthen and gold reaches another record

TSX closes higher as energy, loonie strengthen and gold reaches another record

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

Most Read