In February 2017 I was asked to design different ideas for a potential Hat Liner for the Official Smithbilt Paul Brandt Signature Edition Hat.

Over a bunch of discussion and 72 hours later, we had an approved design. This was one of the fastest projects I have ever worked on.

TY POZZOBON Foundation

To protect and support the health and well-being of rodeo competitors inside and outside the arena.

Ty Pozzobon was made to be a cowboy. He grew up in Merritt, BC with a dream of conquering untamed wild beasts, eight seconds at a time, for gold buckles, glory and fame. The young bull rider saw his childhood dreams through, and became a hometown hero in his very young life.

At the age of 25, Pozzobon was a three-time Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) qualifier and was crowned the 2016 Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Canadian Champion. After an outstanding 2016 that included five event wins, he made his whole country proud by finishing fourth in the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas, NV.

Not all victories, however, are won free of injury, and Pozzobon was no stranger to impairment. The young phenom sustained his fair share of bumps and bruises including broken bones, and more notably, several concussions in the rodeo arena.

“Pozzy” was described by his closest friends as someone who truly cared about others; a winner able to light up any room with his unforgettable smile and laugh. He was known widely for his positivity and was at the height of success inside the arena.

The battle within Ty’s mind was one the he would tragically lose on January 9, 2017, when he took his own life. Images and kind words for the beloved cowboy covered media for days, with family, friends, and rodeo fans pouring out their love for Pozzobon. Many in disbelief, asking, how could this have happened.

As family and friends faced this ultimate sacrifice, discussion as to why began to surface very quickly. The reality of what those close to him had been concerned about - the number of concussions Ty had endured - quickly pointed towards the reality that he most certainly exemplified the traits of someone suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury.

The Goals of the Ty Pozzobon Foundation

To advance education by educating rodeo and bull riding athletes, administrators, medical professionals and the general public of the nature of concussions and the importance of prevention, including what concussions are, how concussions occur, how to recognize signs and symptoms of concussion and best practices for care and management once concussion occurs;

To promote health and safety by:

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 which 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, including baseline evaluations and assessments, post-concussion clinical services and monitored return to play programs; and,

d. funding scientific research carried on by qualified donees in the area of concussions and other brain related injuries associated with sports in Canada, particularly bull riding.

To promote health and well-being including overall mental health awareness by providing individuals participating in the sport of rodeo with access to counselling, health and medical related information and resources, support programs and medical services.