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

Just Posted

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Rimbey RCMP need held identifying vandals

Plus, GPS in stolen vehicle helps locate it and the suspect in Red Deer

Ponoka Chamber to host election forum

All-candidates forum for Lacombe-Ponoka set for March 28 at the Ponoka Legion

Ponoka County $3.6 million surplus used to prepare for future

An unexpected grant carryover along with operational savings in 2018 has provided… Continue reading

St. Michael’s Church commemoration held west of Bashaw

The celebration acknowledged the history of Hungarian settlers in the area

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Women of Excellence Awards introduces ‘Women of Excellence in Construction’

Gala will take place June 19th at the Sheraton Red Deer

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Teen girl accused in plot to attack Kamloops school with weapons out on bail

Judge warned the girl she would be back in jail if she threatened to shoot anyone

Oil prices, Alberta election call cloud Stampede chuckwagon auction expectations

The top money bid last year came from Versatile Energy Services, Ltd.

Lacombe hosts 6th Invasive Species Council Conference at LMC

Council looks to protect native ecological environments in Alberta

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per cent

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Most Read