MERRITT, B.C., Canada – Ty Pozzobon, one of the top Canadian competitors on the Professional Bull Riders Tour, died Monday at the age of 25, according to the Merritt Herald and multiple other sources in the rodeo community.
No details have been reported on the cause of death, though the Herald reported that it is not being considered suspicious and that police have turned the investigation over to the coroner’s office.
Pozzobon was coming off his fourth PBR World Finals appearance last November, during which he rode his first four bulls and finished a career-best 4th overall. He also recorded a career-high 89.5-point ride in Round 2 of the Finals aboard Big Cat.
Pozzobon was a seven-year veteran of the tour and the 2016 PBR Canada Champion.
Longtime PBR entertainer Flint Rasmussen of Choteau said he was always impressed by Pozzobon’s composure.
“The thing that really struck me was, when he’d shake your hand, he’d always look you straight in the eye,” Rasmussen told MTN Sports by phone. “He was that bright spot in your day. You’d just smile when you saw him coming.”
The top 35 riders from the PBR’s 2016 points standings were guaranteed a spot on this year’s tour. Pozzobon finished 23rd and was eligible for last weekend’s major at Madison Square Garden in New York City. However, he was not there while recovering from a hand injury.
PBR CEO Sean Gleason released a statement Tuesday on Pozzobon’s passing:
“Ty Pozzobon was a cowboy through and through and loved being a professional bull rider,” said Gleason. “His infectious personality and enthusiasm for doing what he loved touched so many of us, and we will remember him always.”