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

New market opens in downtown Ponoka

Makkinga Market had a soft opening showcasing many of the different foods in store

Ponoka council challenged on payments on new building

Resident continues worries the town is paying over $94,000 per month on something it may never own

Plan to pump into Gull Lake won’t happen in 2019

Two-stage filter process to be evaluated by Alberta Environment

Remember When: A photo of the 1903 Ponoka Presbyterian Church

The building would late become the sight of the Ponoka United Church

Ponoka County denies rezoning over road responsibility issue

Application to parcel off land shot down by council due mainly to lack of access

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

John Savage pleads guilty to manslaughter

Sentenced to 7 years for Stettler murder

Kentucky canoe outfit borrows photo of Trudeau family to market business

They are in a red canoe, all clad in life jackets, and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Ella-Grace are waving

UPDATED UCP MLA cries foul after brick thrown through office window

UPDATED St. Paul MLA Dave Hanson says ‘Over-the-top NDP rhetoric’ not based in reality

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

Red Deerians can weigh in on proposed Bighorn Country investment tonight

Telephone town hall takes place 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Most Read