This weekend’s rodeo at the Daines Rodeo Ranch will not be your typical bull riding rodeo. It will be a tribute to the late bull riding champion and one of Canada’s most well-known cowboy’s Ty Pozzobon.
This time around the rodeo will see 30 bull riders come together in an open bull riding event to raise awareness for mental health at the rodeo grounds in tribute of Pozzobon, who took his own life this past January.
“We want to give a little tribute back to Ty. The rodeo world was tough on him and now we’re going to try to raise some money for the Ty Pozzobon Foundation,” said Kyle Daines of Daines Rodeo Ranch in Innisfail.
Pozzobon wasn’t just the run of the day rodeo cowboy, he was a rising star in the rodeo world.
“Everybody knew him,” said Daines.
The Ty Pozzobon Foundation was set up shortly a month after his passing to protect and support the health and well-being of rodeo competitors inside and outside of the arena. It also has the goal of placing and assisting funding the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team (CPRSMT) at every ProRodeo and PBR in Canada from now on.
Last year’s rodeo was held in July, and it was a fundraiser where sponsors got matched up with cowboys.
“Ty Pozzobon ended up winning the bull riding last year,” said Daines.
He also happened to get to know Pozzobon over the last couple of years.
“I met Ty through Tanner Girletz. He came to my dad’s place one day to look at some rodeo cows.”
After meeting him, Daines said they ended up putting on a rodeo sale. He ended up working with Pozzobon for about three years, as he also put cattle in Daines’ sale, so he got to know him as a friend too.
“He was unreal,” said Daines.
Although reports have indicated Pozzobon’s death is linked to concussion-related depression, Daines said the sport of bull riding isn’t any different than other rough sports.
“Hockey players go through it, football players go through it. It’s a hard hit to the head, and concussions are a scary thing now.”
Daines said at this rodeo, they are all working together to get help so people don’t get hurt.
As many people have memories with Pozzobon in the rodeo world, one such memory came for Daines recently. As he and a few others were bucking some horses at the rodeo grounds and doing some cleaning to get ready for the upcoming event, Daines found the glove that Pozzobon signed for a young boy last year that the little boy forgot on the grounds.
“It was Tyler Pankewitz’s little boy, another bull rider, so I actually phoned him and we’re going to get that glove to him now,” said Daines.
The rodeo in honour of Pozzobon will take place May 13th with the bull riding beginning at 4 p.m. at the Daines Rodeo Ranch. Admission is free.
For more information on donating to the Ty Pozzobon Foundation, visit TyPozzobon.com.