Sports

Video: A Night at The Ranch raises funds for good cause

It was a busy afternoon at the Daines Rodeo Grounds over the weekend as the public gathered for A Night at The Ranch, supporting a good cause.

The weekend saw some of the best in Canadian bullriding take to the arena for a ride benefitting the Ty Pozzobon Foundation and Sports Medicine Team. And the Foundations are something that mean a lot to fellow cowboys and cowgirls.

“They’re everything for the cowboys going down the road now. They’re the ones that are holding the cowboys together. They looked after me for a decade and now you see these young kids coming and they’re getting help now. The older guys that are still going, it’s because of sports medicine,” said one of the organizers of the event Kyle Daines.

The free event in honour of Pozzobon raised around $8,400, which will be split between the two Foundations. Money was raised through a Calcutta, donations and a silent auction.

There was also a 50/50 draw, which saw $700 go to the Penhold Fire Department.

A Night at the Ranch started in 2016, raising money for the community and its local charities. It also raised awareness and funds for the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team, recognizing what they do.

It was a huge success, raising more than $10,000 for those charities and Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team.

It was that same event that was won by one of Canada’s greatest bull riders, Pozzobon.

He made two rounds of amazing rides that night, winning both rounds and securing the event title.

The Innisfail Eagles became the charity winner with the help of Pozzobon for a ride of 88.5 on Blood Money.

And that wasn’t Pozzobon’s only success. He went on to win the 2016 PBR Canada National Championship and won nearly $100,000 in the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas, finishing in the top five.

It was the weeks that followed that changed the lives of the rodeo community forever. Pozzobon lost his battle with mental illness that was brought on by the multiple concussions he sustained while competing, and passed away in January.

But with tragedy came triumph as his friends rallied together to start the Ty Pozzobon Foundation, with the goal of protecting and supporting the well-being of rodeo athletes inside and outside of the arena.

Winning last weekend’s event was Pozzobon’s good friend Tanner Girletz. And it was a win that meant the world to him.

“To even ride for the Foundation and knowing what we know now with concussion awareness and depression and everything after our friend Ty, it means a lot to be able to help out with the Foundation and the cause,” said Girletz.

He also happened to ride one of the bulls Pozzobon rode at last year’s event.

Girletz gave the cross he won at the event to a young girl named Ryen Freeman who suffered a brain injury and has spent a lot of time at the Ronald McDonald House.

“They need help and it’s about taking a step to reach out and talk to someone. If we can put some money towards all that then I’m more than happy to.”

When asked what he remembers most about Pozzobon, Girletz said it was his smile.

“He had an infectious smile and I still see it all the time. I’ve got pictures around my house of him and I doing stupid stuff together and it’s something I’ll never forget.”

With the event centred around mental illness and depression, the family of the late Lindsey More was asked to come by and participate. They too received a cheque in the amount of $6,830 for the Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation. The funds were raised by Jocelyn Peterman through the Woman of Curling calendar where a small amount of the proceeds go towards Curling Canada Foundation and a larger amount going to the woman’s curling athletes’ charity of choice.

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