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Support pours in for seriously injured 16-year-old northern B.C. rodeo star

Tyson Roberts, 16, remains in Vancouver General Hospital
Tyson Roberts of Quesnel holds on during the saddle bronc event at the B.C. High School Rodeo in Spring 2020. (Cassidy Dankochik photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Rodeo associations across northern B.C. are sending love and best wishes to a young Quesnel cowboy who was seriously injured during a saddle bronc performance in Prince George.

Tyson Roberts, 16, remains in hospital in Vancouver after he was airlifted on Saturday, June 18.

The rising rodeo star sustained a serious and life-changing spinal cord injury one week after winning the BC High School Rodeo saddle bronc title at Alex Fraser Park in Quesnel.

“With the permission of the family Rodeo PG is announcing a support fund for Tyson and his family,” said Kevin Cunin, president of the Prince George Western Heritage Society.

Cunin personally understands what Roberts is going through after he was paralyzed from a similar injury more than seven years ago at the BCRA Bulkley Valley Rodeo in Smithers.

”We fully support him and hope for a speedy recovery.”

In Quesnel, JoAnne Hockett is also hoping for the best outcome for her grandson.

Once Roberts is discharged from Vancouver General Hospital, where his parents are by his side, he will attend the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre.

READ MORE: Paralyzed B.C. cowboy set to ride again thanks to custom saddle

“It’s more than awful; it’s heartbreaking,” Hockett said, crying. “But we are looking forward, things will get better, and Tyson is a wonderful kid. He’ll be OK.”

That weekend Quesnel Rodeo Club president Ray Jasper was in Vanderhoof for the Nechako Valley Indoor Rodeo, which wrapped up early.

On his way back to Quesnel, he stopped in Prince George, where he learned of Roberts’ accident.

“Tyson really wanted to excel at this sport, and he tried his hardest every time he got on,” Jasper said. “He really enjoyed trying to master that sport, and it’s a hard thing to do, and, unfortunately, these things do happen.”

Donations to Roberts and his family can be e-transferred to A benefit fund for Roberts can also be supported at any Integris Credit Union.

The Quesnel Rodeo Club is planning to support Roberts in the future.

“We’re just all holding our breath to see where things are and what we can be doing,” Jasper said.

“The biggest thing we can do now is financial support, I think, for the family, to get through the next little bit because it looks like he’s going to have a fairly long road.”

On Thursday, June 23, the Quesnel Rodeo Committee announced they would be donating 100 per cent of this year’s administration fees to Roberts and his family.

READ MORE: Educational videos for rodeo athletes address concussions, mental health

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