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

Parksville people: Joan Lemoine on loving life, volunteering at age 90

‘I’ve had a really good life, I have absolutely no regrets’

Parksville filmmaker nominated for provincial Leo Award

Joel Grenz tabbed in ‘Best Music Video’ category

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Parksville soccer player invited to elite soccer academy in Portugal

Wylee Franks aspires to become a professional player

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Port Alberni will have a salmon derby on Labour Day after all

Alberni Valley Tyee Club reveals ‘socially distanced’ derby only for Labour Day 2020

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Owner of Langford construction company gets nine months for sexual assault

Kyle Mostowy already spent time in prison for sexually assaulting employees

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

Most Read