British Columbia

Champion bull rider from B.C. dies at age 25

Rodeo fans are mourning the death of champion bull rider Ty Pozzobon who died suddenly on Monday.

2016 Canadian champion Ty Pozzobon was considered one of the best in the world

Merritt, B.C., bull rider Ty Pozzobon has died at age 25. (Richard Drew/Associated Press)

Rodeo fans are mourning the death of champion bull rider Ty Pozzobon.

The 25-year-old from Merritt, B.C., died suddenly Monday morning. The cause of death has not been revealed.

"It's a shock," said family friend Ed Lebourdais.

"For B.C., we're not going to see another Ty Pozzobon for a number of years — what the guy did was just that good. He pushed himself to be the best."

Pozzobon was the 2016 Pro Bull Riders Canada champion, and finished fourth at the 2016 Professional Bull Riders world finals in Las Vegas in November.

On Jan. 3, Pozzobon posted to Facebook that he had just signed on with a new sponsor.

In a statement, the Pozzobon family asked that in lieu of flowers, people make donations to the Rider Relief Fund, which provides financial assistance to people injured in the bull riding industry.   

"It's important that people know about the implications of head injuries as a result of concussions," said Leanne Pozzobon, Ty's mother, in a statement.