By: Ted Stovin June 03, 2014@ 09:45:00 AM
MERRITT, British Columbia ― Ty Pozzobon caught up with PBR.com before the start of the 2nd Annual Ty Pozzobon Invitational in Merritt, British Columbia, this past weekend.
TS: Tell us about Merritt and growing up here.
POZZOBON: “This is where I grew up and right here in this arena is actually where I rode at my first rodeo, got on my first cow in this very arena.”
TS: How was your family involved in getting you started in your bull riding career?
POZZOBON: “I grew up on a ranch about 15 kilometers out of town here. My Dad rode bulls. I’ve just been around cattle and bucking bulls my whole life, so I was surrounded by it. My Dad kind of passed it along down to me.”
TS: What drove you to pursue a career in the PBR?
POZZOBON: “Ever since I was a little kid, starting out riding steers and stuff, any kid that wants to be a bull rider wants to be in the PBR. That’s always been one of my goals since I was a little kid. I watched them guys on TV and I knew that’s exactly where I wanted to be. That was one of my goals and I accomplished that and now it’s kind of a stepping stone. I want to be a Canadian champion and a World Champion.”
TS: What was it like going to your first Built Ford Tough World Finals and knowing you realized the dream?
POZZOBON: “The first year is always kind of, you’ve got a lot of nerves because that’s what I’ve worked for a long time. I was pretty happy with it, could of been a lot better. I rode a couple bulls and placed in some rounds. I was actually one out (away from) making the short round my first year. I was happy I was there.
“The second year I was a lot more calm and I knew that I belonged there. It was pretty good, I ended up being in the Top 15 and making the short round at the World Finals. So it was pretty good.”
Ty Pozzobon puts up 85.50 points on Emergency in Round 1 of the 2013 PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas.
TS: Let’s talk about the years in between those, the first year you maybe weren’t on the BFTS the whole time. The second year you had a full year under your belt. How much did that make a difference? You said you felt like you fit in more the next year.
POZZOBON: “Yeah, for sure. It takes a little bit once you get there. All the big lights and you seeing all those guys you see on TV each week, it takes a little bit to settle in.
“My first year, I was about to make the World Finals that year and I ended up breaking my riding hand so that put me out and I ended up being an alternate for the World Finals. Everything happens for a reason and I think that just made me a stronger bull rider. Being that close made me want it that much more the next year.
“Last year, I was having a really good year. I started out the year in the Top 5 for the first little bit of the year and then I ended up tearing my knee out. I’ve had a couple problems with my knees the past few years, so hopefully I’ll get a full year of just being healthy.”
TS: Let’s talk about this year, with you, Zane Lambert and Tanner Byrne in the Top 25. There haven’t been three Canadians in the Top 25 for as long as I can remember.
POZZOBON: “If there has been, it’s been a long time for sure. It’s nice to have those guys down there. It’s too bad Aaron’s (Roy) not there with us, but it’s great to have those guys. We ride with them here in the summer and we all feed off each other and help each other on this weekend. It’s great.”
TS: How much does that help, the three of you being on the Built Ford Tough Series compared to you being by yourself there for a while.
POZZOBON: “Like I said, we just all kind of feed off each other. Me and Tanner, we travel with each other. Me and Zane, we don’t travel in the same truck each weekend, but we are all good buddies and see each other each week at all the events up here. You see one guy do good, you feed off him and you try to one up him.”
TS: Let’s talk about how your year’s been this year and what your goals are going into the second half of the Built Ford Tough Series.
POZZOBON: “The start of the year, I went to Australia and then on to New York. I started off really good, then got a little cold for a while there, but that’s just bull riding, you know, the way it is sometimes.
“Right before the break I started getting my stuff together and riding good again and I’m feeling good.
“Second half, I want to get back up there, climb the standings, there’s lots of points still available over this summer break and once we come back there’s still another seven or eight events and lots of ground to be made.”
TS: Tell us more about this event, the 2nd annual Ty Pozzobon Invitational.
POZZOBON: “I’ve done as much as I can do, but I can’t thank all the people, the committee that’s helped put this event on. There’s no way (it would work) without that group of people. That group of people did a lot of work to put this event on. We had rain all week and they were in here with tractors and stuff pushing the mud out. They’ve been busy. They’ve been putting a lot of work into this event, so it’s nice for them to have all these people come out and have these grandstands packed full of people and they get repaid by seeing everybody be here and having a great turn out.”
Chase Outlaw wins the Ty Pozzobon Invitational with a 91-point ride on Team Paige.
Follow Ted Stovin on Twitter at @TedStovin
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