Ty Pozzobon, A.K.A. Pozzy was born to be a cowboy. He was born on November 9, 1991, and grew up in Merritt, British Columbia. Ty had a dream of mastering extreme sport animals. Eight seconds of domination, rewarded with gold buckles, glory, and fame. The young bull rider saw his childhood dreams come true. By the age of 25, Pozzobon was a three-time Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) qualifier. He was crowned the 2016 Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Canadian Champion. In 2016 Ty posted five event wins. He also made Canada proud by finishing fourth in the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ty married Jayd on October 11th, 2015 in Yoakum Texas. She was training barrel racing horses when they first met in 2012. They hit it off quickly. Shortly after their marriage, they established their home near Merritt B.C. The couple had no children. Ty was a caring individal that made him instantly likable. He was known for having an infectious smile.
Professional Bull Riding is a dangerous sport. The young phenom sustained his fair share of injuries. Bumps, bruises, and broken bones were not uncommon. More notably, Ty suffered several concussions in the rodeo arena. The damage these caused was sadly irreparable. Ty took his own life, January 9th, 2017. An autopsy confirmed that he suffered from Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The first confirmed case identified in a bull rider. Ty’s life ended far too early. In his honour, the Ty Pozzobon Foundation was formed. Its ultimate goal is to prevent CTE from taking the lives of any western lifestyle participants, ever again.
Ty Pozzobon Foundation was established in February of 2017. Tanner Byrne and Chad Besplug were two of Ty’s closest friends and western lifestyle participants. They were instrumental in starting the Ty Pozzobon Foundation. Chad Besplug stated, “we want to break the stigma and start the conversation about mental health”. No one should have to battle this demon on their own. Bull riders would share advice on how to stay on top of a bull. Now they are sharing advice on how to stay on top of life.
Studies have revealed that bull riders can experience forces in excess of 26 Gs, during a ride. More pressure than an astronaut during lift-off. Compacted into an 8-second window. Trauma can be generated by a fall but also during a successful ride. In Saskatoon, on November 14th, 2014 Ty experienced another type of Trauma. The bull he drew, Boot Strap Bill, stepped on Ty’s helmet. The helmet broke, then the bull stepped on Ty’s head. He was unconscious for 24-minutes. His family and friends pleaded with him to retire but it was in his blood. He was back to limited riding in February of 2015. Ty competed on the entire circuit in 2016. He earned the title of PBR Canadian Champion.
After Ty’s passing, his family consented to donating his brain for invaluable research. This would be one of his last gifts to the rodeo world. Post-mortem analysis is currently the only way to identify CET. Hopefully, diagnostic tools will someday be available for live patients.
Through the foundation, Ty’s legacy should never die. With the blessing and support of Ty’s family, the Ty Pozzobon Foundation roots were planted. A lot of work has gone on in a very short time. The foundation has been incorporated both in the United States and Canada. The foundation is functioning with a board and a mission statement to forever honour Ty’s legacy.
Ty left us with a few wise words in one of his last known interviews. “For me, I’ve just got to live in the moment. In the past I kind of took all of this for granted. I never really lived in the moment and I had it all taken from me. I wish I would have just really enjoyed what I had and lived in that moment. That’s kind of what I’m doing right now, I’m just talking one ride at a time.”
To protect and support the health and well-being of western lifestyle participants inside and outside the arena.
Goals and Objectives
1. To advance the education of rodeo and bull riding athletes, administrators, and medical professionals. Educate the public on the nature of concussions and the importance of prevention. Understand what concussions are, how they occur. Inform how to recognize signs and symptoms of concussion. Identify best practices for care and management once a concussion occurs.
A. Establishing and implementing clinical care pathways to diagnosing and managing concussions, including tracking those diagnosed with concussion and sharing information among health care professionals to increase the likelihood of a successful return to normal activities.
B. Establishing and implementing concussion protocols, policies, guidelines, and action plans. This will promote proper safety, care, and procedures for individuals participating in the sport of rodeo with an emphasis on bull riding.
C. Facilitating and promoting access for rodeo and bull riding athletes to health and sports medicine professionals and services. This includes baseline evaluations and assessments, post-concussion clinical services and monitored return to play programs.
D. Funding scientific research carried on by qualified personnel in the area of concussions and other brain related injuries associated with sports in Canada, particularly bull riding.
3. To promote health and well-being. This includes overall mental health awareness. Providing western lifestyle participants with access to counselling, health, and medical-related information and resources. Also, provide support programs and medical services.
Frequent, intense, concussion-type injuries can begin in childhood. As early as a fall off a first pony or getting bucked off the first steer. They can continue throughout the end of a professional rode career. For some sports, the warning signs of these injuries can be obvious. The nature of rodeo can sometimes cover them up. “They shake it off” and away they go. You jump in the truck and away you go. Do you sleep? No. So do you know you have insomnia? No, because you haven’t slept well for quite some time.
Cowboys like Pozzobon brushed off their injuries. The resulting mental health issues are not as easy to shake. Through this selfless donation by the Pozzobon family, his memory will live on. Someday Ty may help a fellow competitor through their brain injuries. Likely that day may have already come for some.
Injuries and accidents will never be completely preventable. Advancements through education, injury protection equipment will help. The creation of standardized injury protocols is also required. Creating a culture that talks about mental health issues is vital. It could someday mean that western lifestyle participants do not have to suffer a loss like that of Ty Pozzobon again. That is the ultimate goal of the Ty Pozzobon Foundation.
Support through the purchase of our merchandise
We have a retail outlet dedicated to Ty Pozzobon branded merchandise. Clothing for men, women, and children.
Location & Hours
Ty Pozzobon Foundation
2581 Lauder Avenue
Merritt, British Columbia V1K 1M8, CA
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
We also have an online store: https://typozzobon.square.site/
Proceeds from the sale of merchandise supports the work of the Ty Pozzobon Foundation. Thank you for supporting this worthy cause. #LIVELIKETY