Ty Pozzobon (Black Press file photo)

Ty Pozzobon (Black Press file photo)

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

‘It’s OK to say I’m not OK’

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

Image courtesy CDC
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kitamaat Village

Haisla Nation Council said there are two confirmed cases they are aware of at this time

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

The Kitimat River in July. (Clare Rayment photo)
Good News, Kitimat!

Bringing some local good news to your week

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

(Needpix.com)
Pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ concerns for B.C. children and youth with special needs: report

Pandemic worsened an already patchwork system, representative says

Most Read