The Ty Pozzobon Foundation will be hosting a memorial bull riding event in Calgary on October 27.
Ty Pozzobon who was a professional bull rider tragically took his own life on January 9th, 2017. The foundation was set up to honour Ty’s legacy. Its mission is to protect and support the health and well-being of Western Lifestyle Participants.
Two-time Canadian Champion Bull rider Chad Besplug of Claresholm explains the importance of mental health and bringing this to the forefront of people's minds while having people talk about issues that they are having.
"We have seen a shift in guys talking about their issues. Keeping it quiet isn't tough, dealing with the issue is the tough way to go about it sometimes. I think that there has been a big shift in mindset that way. It's important for us to keep his memory alive (Pozzobon) just because of who he was as a person."
Even with Pozzobon being seven years younger, Besplug explains that the first time he saw him in the rodeo arena he knew he was going to make a great bull rider.
"My travelling group adopted him, and we travelled everywhere together, and with that travelling everywhere has such a wear and tear on your body and your mental state because it never ends and just keeps going."
Since now the stigma around mental health is slowly decreasing and even for men its slowly decreasing. There are some foundations that the Canadian Professional Rodeo has for athletes with the Ty Pozzobon leading the charge.
"Quite often they will come to us, and we will direct them to somebody that can help but all this is very new so we're still cutting the path and figuring out the right way to get these guys help as quickly as possible."
Besplug explains that when tragedy strikes there is nothing that you can do about it, it is all about what you can do after the fact. Do you let it drag you down or do you build something from it.
"We saw an opportunity that Ty gave us because of the way he lived his life, this was a huge opportunity that was laid in front of us, and a bunch of people stepped up and made this happen."
The Ty Pozzobon memorial event is going to be a night of bull riding and a night packed full of action.
"You'll see updates as we're getting closer. Find out who's coming, who's going to be riding there."
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