Mental health video marks two years since death of B.C. bull rider Ty Pozzobon

‘It’s OK to say I’m not OK’

Ty Pozzobon (Black Press file photo)

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 (CPRSMT) have released the second in a series of mental health awareness educational 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.

TY POZZOBON FOUNDATION – MENTAL HEALTH

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

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

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

After Pozzobon’s death 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 from bull riding has had and continues 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 CPRSMT focused on concussion awareness, while the latest video released on the anniversary of Pozzobon’s death this week more broadly addresses the importance of mental health.

Ty Pozzobon Foundation president Tanner Byrne said they saw mental health as the next step in the continuation of educating those involved in western sports.

Three-time Canadian champion bareback rider Jake Vold, 2013 Canadian champion bareback rider Matt Lait, 2003 Canadian champion bull rider Jody Turner and Heard Wellness through Horses’ therapist Amy Monea highlight the list of expert commentators featured in the second video.

“Any athlete will tell you it’s way more mental than it actually is physical,” Monea said discussing the issue. “You can have your body physically ready but can you handle the mental game or the mental pressure? And if you can’t at the moment it doesn’t mean you’re a crappy athlete, it doesn’t mean you’re not successful, or you don’t have the potential to reach your dream.”

The video was fully funded by the Ty Pozzobon Foundation, with the latest piece also featuring some insight from psychologist Ann Pierzchalski.

READ MORE: Family issues statement on Pozzobon’s passing

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

“Our hope in this second video is that contestants continue to share when they realize that they aren’t OK. 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.”

Since its creation in February of 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

COVID-19: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation asks Tofino businesses for support as emergency funding runs dry

“We need to pay for the work they do. It’s such important work.”

DFO says the five aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Canada can lead the way to save sharks from extinction, says fisheries expert

“Combined with fishing extraction numbers, sharks experience huge losses in the environment.”

Five Vancouver Island First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breath

Cowichan’s Dillabaugh checks in from the NHL bubble in Toronto

Flyers’ Duncan-born goalie coach weighs in on hockey restart

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Paramedics fired for allowing patient to crawl for treatment on Downtown Eastside: court documents

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital from sepsis

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Most Read