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

Sylvan Lake Hockey Camp hits 45 year milestone

The long-running hockey camp sees kids come from all over the world every year

Summer weather shows for 14th Annual Pro-Am

The annual event serves as a fundraiser for the Junior Golf Foundation of Gull Lake

Don’t miss Rimbey’s motorsport action this summer

Great events geared up at Central Alberta Raceways

Looking back and looking forward

Town of Rimbey Mayor reflects on two terms, what’s to come

Rimbey RCMP says property crime lower than recent years

Rimbey RCMP also seized stolen items, crystal meth in response to suspicious activity call

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Natural gas producers demand government action in open letter to Kenney

The letter warns that the viability of the natural gas sector is in jeopardy

Remains of missing Edmonton woman discovered outside of North Battleford: RCMP

The 25-year-old Edmonton woman was reported missing on May 12

Companies to appear before panel today in public inquiry into B.C. gas prices

A three-member panel by B.C. Utilities Commission will listen to up to four days of oral hearings

Interviews with family of highway shooting victim heard in Calgary court

Horst Stewin’s relatives were set to testify by video from Germany this morning, but a court translator said she was unable to proceed

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

High-speed rail link would run from Vancouver to Seattle in under 1 hour: study

Annual ridership is projected to exceed three million

Most Read