Photo courtesy of Cassandra Carr
Merritt’s own Ty Pozzobon, who served as a back-up goaltender as an affiliate player for the Centennials during the 2007-08 season, continues to show why it was a good decision for him to choose bull riding over hockey as a career.
Here’s the latest on Ty from the Calgary Herald.
By Dwayne Erickson, For The Calgary Herald
Ty Pozzobon hasn’t disappeared since his name first surfaced for a brief moment in professional rodeo’s world standings back in late January.
He just took a few detours here and there. In the process, Canadian rodeo’s 2010 rookie of the year is establishing a glowing reputation among the superstars of the Professional Bull Riders outfit at the world level.
The 19-year-old from Merritt, B.C. was called up to the internationallytelevised Ford Series as an alternate a month ago for an event at Glendale, Ariz.
He was thrown off two bulls there and two more a week later at Fresno, Calif.
Then, Pozzobon started putting things together.
He covered two of three bulls for 86.5 and 87.5 points at the Ty Murray Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., to finish 11th in championship points and earn $1,000.
And, the next weekend, at Kansas City, Pozzobon made the eight-second buzzer on his first-round bull for a fourth-best 85.75 points and qualified for the first-night, 10-man championship round.
His assignment was a dark horned bull called Wild & Out that had been ridden only twice in nine trips this year, both for scores in the 90s.
“He jumped out, spun to the left and just at the dinger my hand came out of my rope,” Pozzobon recalled. “I knew when I left the chute I didn’t have much rope in my hand. I was just hanging on and I thought it would be close.”
As it turned out, he ended up 12th to pocket $1,700.
Disappointed? “Not at all,” he responded. “There’s been so much happening this last little while.
“First, getting called up to the Ford Built Tough Series, a goal of mine since I was a little kid, and seeing and meeting all those guys I’d been watching on television for years. Then riding my first bull and the very next weekend qualifying for a short (10-man) round.
“It’s all pretty exciting.” During the Kansas City event, Shane Proctor, ranked sixth in the PBR points standings, asked Pozzobon if he’d help put on a bull riding school for 32 students at Grand Coulee, Wash.
The invitation from Proctor is a testament to how well Pozzobon has been accepted by the PBR elite.
While he was working the school, the PBR offered the teenager an alternate spot at this past weekend’s Ford Series stop at Tampa, Fla.
Pozzobon turned it down. He’d entered a Tier II Touring Pro Division bull riding at Nampa, Idaho.
“I wanted to improve my earnings so I’d get called up to the Ford Series after the next cut and not have to rely on being on call as an injury alternate,” he said.
Mission accomplished. Pozzobon covered his first bull for 86.5 points, advanced to Nampa’s championship round, and stuck a 92.5 score on a young right spinner called Toy Soldier.
Pozzobon picked up $2,500 at Pocatello, which counts toward the world rodeo standings, and $4,500 at Nampa, which counts towards his PBR earnings.