By Ryan Dahlman
Coy Robbins, 23, is looking forward to his visit to Medicine Hat Oct. 15 as he hits the chutes as part of pushing his way to the top in the Professional Bull Riders Canada standings race.
The affable and cerebral 5’8″, 142-lbs Camrose native is doing quite well considering all that he has gone through the past few years.
“Really, honestly, I think the biggest factor in my success this year is really prioritizing in creating a team of people around me, as much as bullriding and rodeo is an individual sport, I think it is extremely important and what I realized this year, is to have a really strong team like trainers and physio-type therapists a big support group,” explained Robbins. “In my whole professional career I’ve dealt with a lot of serious injuries and being healthy. I think I have always had it in me to ride as well I had this year, but it’s tough to do when you are sitting on the sidelines…I‘ll use that knowledge moving forward in my career.”
As of Oct. 7, Robbins is ranked 109th in the world PBR standings and is 8th in Canada. He didn’t gain any points Sept. 30 in Grand Prairie, but he did finish second in Lethbridge at the Enmax Centre and in the previous three weeks earned a first place finish (Marwayne), second (Tofield) and a fourth in Stavely). However, a good showing is needed each week as his missed opportunity in Grand Prairie caused him to drop from 6th to 8th.
In the standings he is $15,000 and 31 standings points ahead of ninth place Cardogan’s Lonnie West; but trails Dewinton’s Brock Radford by 31 points for 7th.
There’s a lot to be excited for Robbins and the other riders. The PBR Canada is in Medicine Hat’s Coop Place Oct. 15 for the PBR Robertson Implements Classic, as part of as part of the Elite Cup Series. There are some interesting storylines including No. 5-ranked Aaron Roy trying to earn his unprecedented fourth national title, while No. 4 and 2020 PBR Canada Champion Buttar will look to become just the fourth multi-time title holder in history.
But for Robbins, he is humbly enjoying the ride.
In 2018 he dislocated and broke his left shoulder and was out for over a year with that, and then in 2019 he ended up breaking his arm and needed surgery out again which put him out for another 11 months.
“You know when I look back I don’t think I could have prevented from happening anyway but we really dig deep and get into what bullriding really is, I can kind of pinpoint a shoulder injury or some other things that were (messed up) that caused me to get off the horse the way I did and then stepping on me… we’re rolling now anyways and very blessed to be doing that,” explained Robbins.
Robbins was in a lot of pain physically, but the tough cowboy was hurting mentally as well. Fortunately there was the Ty Pozzobon Foundation which is in existence due to the fallen cowboy, someone Coy knew.
“The Ty Pozzobon Foundation “was established in February of 2017. Ty, a professional bull rider, tragically took his own life on January 9th, 2017. The foundation was set up to honour Ty’s legacy. Its mission is to protect and support the health and well-being of Western Lifestyle Participants. A group of Ty’s close friends started the foundation. It has raised over $250,000. These funds support the health and well-being of western sport athletes. Both inside and outside the arena.”
Cowboys are known to help each other. Ty helped his friend one more time.
“What took me there to the darker place, the majority of us rodeo athletes are young, all of our friends are going rodeoing, it was kinda the first year in my career that I was on the sideline and being kinda on house arrest a little, in a sling, and that lull really started to close in on me and I had a lot of ‘thinking time’, by myself and the injuries are getting in the way (of everything). The Ty Pozzobon Foundation is an incredible foundation and it allows Ty’s legacy to live on,” explains Robbins.
He was in that dark place and grasped at being at the stereotypical tough man with the added fact of being a cowboy in the public eye in one of the most dangerous of the rough stock events, Robbins felt the walls closing in.
“In the time prior to reaching out it was hard for me to thinking of (asking for help). The Ty Pozzobon Foundation really pushed on
And now it’s working for him. He got the assistance he needed and he learned not to battle alone. Robbins says the repetitiveness of them reaching out and reminding him “it is okay not be okay and reach out when you need it.
“You’re not alone. And I just kept seeing it over and over and over again. And I knew it was a lot harder for people,” explains Robbins. “I am very grateful for that time in my life… Just proud of myself for reaching out and pulling myself through that.
There’s a saying I learned ‘The man who walks into the storm is not the same man who has walked out of the storm.’ And through the grace of the Lord all of this has shaped me into the man I am today and getting the knowledge behind it as well. That’s what the Ty Pozzobon Foundation is all about, the knowledge, the research and everything else about mental health.”
That man today is successful. The standings speak for themselves, he got a big win in Calgary at Fundraiser for Cody Snyder fundraiser. Plus, in an event he helped organize in his hometown of Camrose, Robbins won the inaugural bullriding event there.
He is involved in the cattle industry as his other profession. He is busy but is grateful to be competing and enjoying what he loves.
He enjoys Coop Place and has had some success in Medicine Hat, he looks to continue it with a strong body and mind.