Due to unforeseen circumstances, our keynote speaker has become unavailable at a late date. In light of this information, the consortium voted to reschedule the symposium to a later date this year to make sure a world class line up of speakers are on the roster.

If you are a ticket holder, you should have already been contacted, and arrangements made for a full refund. If you have any questions, please contact 250 851 0191 and ask for Naomi.

We apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused.

National Symposium on Brain Injuries in Equine Sport

Jan 24 2019 | Spruce Meadows, Calgary Alberta

The leading Canadian equine organizations form a consortium to increase awareness of Brain Injuries and Mental Health in the Canadian Equine Industry.

Register Now


Alexander Grayton – Grand Prix Showjumper

“Show jumping is an amazing blend of power, balance, connection, and speed, culminating from endless training and practice with some of the most special equine athletes. In the pursuit of training and sport, we mustn’t forget the importance of looking after our own health and minds.”   -alexander grayton

Gary Rempel

“The Cowboy culture is rooted in old-fashioned tradition and values… common sense is one of them.”

Just because it’s the way it’s always been, doesn’t mean it has to be the way it will always be.”


Spruce Meadows along with the therapeutic product innovator, Back on Track Canada and leaders from the sport and emergency medicine community, announce the formation of a national consortium committed to increasing concussion and mental health awareness across the Canadian equine industry. Leaders from the Western and English riding communities have come together to design and initiate the delivery of Canada’s first Symposium on Brain Injury and Mental Health in the Canadian Equine Industry, slated for January 24th, 2019 at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta. Symposium workshop leaders, speakers, and panelists are being drawn from a roster of recognized experts in the equine world. The one-day event is designed to equip participants with resources they can take back to their respective horse-riding communities and put into daily use. “We want to provide a toolbox of resources to all Canadian equine organizations, so they can better deal with the critical issue of rider health and wellness,” says Dr. Blaine Bugg, President of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team.

Equestrian Canada (EC) is the national governing body for equestrian sport and industry in Canada, with a mandate to represent, promote and advance all equine and equestrian interests. With over 18,000 sport licence holders, 90,000 registered participants, 11 provincial/territorial sport organization partners and 10+ national equine affiliate organizations, EC is a significant contributor to the social, physical, emotional and economic well being of the equestrian industry across Canada.


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Ty Pozzobon was made to be a cowboy. He grew up in Merritt, BC with a dream of conquering untamed wild beasts, eight seconds at a time, for gold buckles, glory and fame. The young bull rider saw his childhood dreams through, and became a hometown hero in his very young life. At the age of 25, Pozzobon was a three-time Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) qualifier and was crowned the 2016 Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Canadian Champion. After an outstanding 2016 that included five event wins, he made his whole country proud by finishing fourth in the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals in Las Vegas, NV. Not all victories, however, are won free of injury, and Pozzobon was no stranger to impairment. The young phenom sustained his fair share of bumps and bruises including broken bones, and more notably, several concussions in the rodeo arena.

“Pozzy” was described by his closest friends as someone who truly cared about others; a winner able to light up any room with his unforgettable smile and laugh. He was known widely for his positivity and was at the height of success inside the arena.

The battle within Ty’s mind was one the he would tragically lose on January 9, 2017, when he took his own life. Images and kind words for the beloved cowboy covered media for days, with family, friends, and rodeo fans pouring out their love for Pozzobon. Many in disbelief, asking, how could this have happened. As family and friends faced this ultimate sacrifice, discussion as to why began to surface very quickly. The reality of what those close to him had been concerned about – the number of concussions Ty had endured – quickly pointed towards the reality that he most certainly exemplified the traits of someone suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury. Research on concussions and their effects on the brain is still new and incomplete. After multiple studies on high concussion-risk individuals like the National Football League (NFL) players, a link has been found between sustaining multiple concussions and the risk of developing depression. The Pozzobon family knew Ty’s behaviour was not typical of their son. In response to the pouring out of sympathy, Ty’s mother Leanne made a statement publicly acknowledging that her son had taken his life, but also commenting that she truly thought it was the result of these concussions. Quickly the medical world reached out to Leanne and the family agreed to donate Ty’s brain to a leading research facility in the United States, known for their leading edge approach to the subject. A team from the University of British Columbia quickly embarked t0 the community of Merritt. With the Pozzobon family’s blessing, they set out to recover Ty’s brain to potentially be one of his last gifts to the rodeo world. While in Merritt, the team of doctors met with the Pozzobon family and some of Ty’s very close friends. In this discussion, medical professionals worked to give comfort to all and provide understanding that this continual concussion mistreated health management is very real and most certainly attributed to Ty’s death. Unfortunately, with today’s science, this cannot be completely proven until the research is done on the brain to provide proof and evidence. It was at this moment those very near and dear friends decided that they would move forward to create a foundation in Ty’s honor. Through the foundation, Ty’s legacy would not die. With the blessing and support of Ty’s family, the Ty Pozzobon Foundation roots were planted. A lot of work has gone on in a very short time; the foundation has been incorporated both in the United States and Canada. The Ty Pozzobon Foundation is well on its way, functioning with a board and a mission statement to forever honor Ty’s legacy.

Mission Statement To protect and support the health and well-being of Western Lifestyle Participants inside and outside the arena.

Goals and Objectives

  1.  To advance education by educating athletes, administrators, medical professionals and the general public of the nature of concussions and the importance of prevention, including what concussions are, how concussions occur, how to recognize signs and symptoms of concussion and best practices for care and management once concussion occurs;
  2. To promote health and safety by:
    1.  establishing and implementing concussion protocols, policies, guidelines and action plans which will promote proper safety, care and procedures for individuals participating in sport;
    2. facilitating and promoting access for athletes to health and sports medicine professionals and services, including baseline evaluations and assessments, post- concussion clinical services and monitored return to play programs;
    3. funding scientific research carried on by qualified donees in the area of concussions and other brain related injuries associated with sports in Canada.
  3. To donate funds, from time to time, to qualified donees as defined in subsection 149.1(1) of the Income Tax Act (Canada), as determined by the Board of Directors; and
  4. To do all such things as are incidental or ancillary to the attainment of the above purpose

Ty Pozzobon left us with a few wise words in one of his last known interviews:

“For me, I’ve just got to live in the moment. In the past I kind of took all of this for granted. I never really lived in the moment and I had it all taken from me. I wish I would have just really enjoyed what I had and lived in that moment. That’s kind of what I’m doing right now, I’m just talking one ride at a time”

It may be too late for the cowboy who seemed to be able to bring out the best in people. Ty Pozzobon will be a constant reminder that we can do better.  Injuries and accidents will never be completely preventable. Pushing sports towards advancements through education, injury protection equipment, along with the creation of standardized injury protocols and creating a culture that talks about mental health issues instead of pushing them aside, could someday mean that athletes do not have to suffer a loss like that of Ty Pozzobon again.

That is the ultimate goal of the Ty Pozzobon Foundation


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About  the  Canadian  Professional  Rodeo  Association:

The  Canadian  Professional  Rodeo  Association  (CPRA) with headquarters in  Airdrie, Alberta is the sanctioning body for the professional rodeo in Canada.  The  CPRA  approves  over 50 events annually with a total payout exceeding $5.1  million.  The  organization  holds  the  Grass  Roots  Final  September  27-28  at Stampede  Park  in  Calgary,  Alberta  and  their  premiere  event  –  the  Canadian  Finals  Rodeo  (CFR)  –  at  the ENMAX  Centrium,  Westerner Park in Red  Deer,  Alberta,  October  30  –  November  4. Follow  the  CPRA  on  Twitter  and  Instagram  @prorodeocanada, ͛

Canadian  Professional  Rodeo  Association  on  Facebook or  online  at


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The Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team, or CPRSMT, is a group of dedicated caregivers who love the sport of rodeo. The team strives to help athletes in their rodeo careers by providing care before,  during or after each performance, as necessary. The team educates and enables competitors to take better care of themselves and their injuries to ensure they get the most out of their rodeo season. By providing this care, we have seen a reduction in the number of turn-outs. We have over 59 practitioners in the disciplines of athletic therapy, massage therapy, and chiropractic care that provides on-site attention to rodeo athletes. In the 2013 season, the team attended to over 175 performances in Western Canada including Canadian Pro Rodeo Association rodeos, Professional Bull Riders events, The Calgary Stampede Rodeo and Chuckwagon Races and a few other events such as rodeo schools. The CPRSMT also includes a network of physicians, sport medicine doctors and orthopedic surgeons providing post-injury care to rodeo competitors.

The Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team is a not-for-profit organization. Our Board of Directors is 100% volunteer-run. The practitioners are paid a stipend for the rodeos they attend, and travel costs are covered as well. Additional expenses include supplies and equipment, our truck and mobile treatment trailers and administrative costs. The team is not a financially self-sustaining organization and relies on contributions from the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and its members, rodeo committees and private donors.


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Based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Spruce Meadows it the creation of the Southern family who built a Show Jumping complex at the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountains. It was in 1976 that the first Spruce Meadows Tournaments were held, with annual spectator attendances reaching over 50,000 by the end of the decade. Today, Spruce Meadows boasts one of the greatest outdoor equestrian venues in the world and offers an incredible experience for riders and fans alike. Spruce Meadows focuses on the organization and hosting of show jumping tournaments of unmatched quality for junior, amateur, and professional athletes in a manner that reflects basic family values in a clean, green and welcoming environment that welcomes the horse and encourage the breeding and training of quality sports horses and the teaching and the development of athletes. For more information on Spruce Meadows, please visit


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With visitors and competitors from around the world, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is revered globally and is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian event. With top competition and inspired entertainment The Royal Horse Show provides an unmatched experience for all ages. The 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 2-11, 2018, at Exhibition Place, Toronto, Canada.   For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit


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The Integrated Concussion Research Program at the University of Calgary

The Integrated Concussion Research Program (ICRP) is a university-wide initiative to study concussion, which has brought together experts from the Cumming School of Medicine, Faculty of Kinesiology, and Faculty of Arts, with support from the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI). The ICRP was developed to address the growing concern about concussions, better the lives of those who have experienced these injuries, and prevent concussions for upcoming generations. The ICRP seeks to answer critical questions about concussion prevention, diagnosis and prognosis, and treatment and rehabilitation. For more information, go to



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BCI is an innovative, physician-led, multi-disciplinary sport concussion program founded on over two decades of concussion research and clinical experience. Our insight tells us that no two athletes are exactly the same. Each athlete is unique with a different set of physical and cognitive attributes that affect their susceptibility and response to a concussive injury. Our program includes an array of pre-season, healthy, clinical assessments that allows our medical team to provide the best possible, individualized management recommendations if a sport-related concussion is sustained. Our multi-disciplinary team is leaders in their respective fields (e.g., sport medicine physicians, athletic therapy, physiotherapy, vestibular therapy, exercise physiology, neuro-optometry, sport nutrition, sport psychology, sport psychiatry, sport audiology, clinical research). We understand athletes, coaches, and the demands of high performance sport. CLINICAL RESEARCH Our clinical research team has been prospectively assessing acute sport-related concussion biomarkers, innovative neuroimaging, autonomic nervous system function, primary and secondary prevention strategies, as well as the clinical usefulness of cutting-edge robotic technology to objectively and precisely assess sensory, motor, and cognitive function, visual gaze (oculomotor control) and balance (postural stability) with support from Own the Podium, Canadian Sport Institute Calgary, Mitacs, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Department of Clinical Neurosciences (University of Calgary), Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM) and generous philanthropic donations. Our team has also been characterizing autonomic nervous system function following a concussion and its response to cognitive and exercise challenges through recovery and return to sport. We believe our innovative, integrated, multi-system approach to functional neurological assessment holds significant promise in managing, monitoring, prognosticating, preventing, and accelerating recovery and readiness to successfully return to sport following a concussive injury. BCI’S VISION “To be a leader in sport concussion innovation and clinical” BCI’S MISSION “To bring innovative sport concussion assessment, management and prevention strategies to the community utilizing evidence-based, research-driven practices” LOCATION BCI is located within the Group23 Sports Medicine Clinic at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre, 147 Canada Olympic Road S.W., Calgary, AB, T3B 6B7.


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Injuries Are Not Accidents:  They are Predictable and Preventable

Injuries are the leading cause of death for Canadians under the age of 45. Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death for Canadians under the age of 35. Injuries kill more children than all other childhood diseases combined. Whether they occur at work, at home, at play or while traveling, we continue to ignore injuries as a society. Why is that? Dr. Francescutti will passionately share everything he has learned as an injury advocate and emergency medicine physician and challenge you to think very differently about the disease known as injury.


  • The annual cost of injury in Canada is estimated to be $27 billion
  • Injuries account for 3.5 million ER visits each year
  • 60,000 Canadians are permanently disabled each year from injury
  • Injuries cost Canadians more than heart and stroke diseases 16,000 Canadians die each year from injuries: the equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every ten days

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Back on Track® Canada is a product innovator in therapeutic human, horse and dog products that are specifically designed to positively impact chronic pain and athletic pain symptoms using a functional fabric called Welltex®. Established in Sweden in 2000 by a medical doctor, Welltex® is the fusion of bio- ceramic minerals with fabric thread resulting in a piece of fabric with the ability to absorb near-infrared energy waves of the body (the body’s heat signature) and release them back into the body as far- infrared energy waves. The latter are emitted back into the tissue to a depth of several centimeters, resulting in vasodilation which increases blood circulation and oxygen delivery on a cellular level. The result is a non-invasive pain management tool which may help relieve muscle tension and strengthen the body’s own ability to reduce inflammation, manage pain, and heal injuries. Back on Track® products perceptibly combat pain and boost strength and dexterity whatever the species. Thousands of users worldwide testify to the power of Welltex® which was first on the market and remains at the forefront of therapeutic fabric technology with a wide selection of products. Back on Track has also incorporated MIPS technology into their new line of horse-back riding helmets. Biomechanical specialists developed MIPS which stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. It has been scientifically proven to increase concussion safety greatly. Visit


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The Canadian Pony Club is a member-based association managed by volunteers, mandated to serve the needs of Canadian youth, ages 6 to 25 years of age, and adults (21 and older) who are interested in riding, learning about and caring for horses or ponies.

The Canadian Pony Club is committed to the vision:

To provide the opportunity for every person in Canada to have a positive experience with horses through providing opportunities:

For Education

To learn responsibility, sportsmanship and good citizenship

For enjoyment and competitive success with horses.


Visit us at


Jane Goodliff, National Chair, Canadian Pony Club

Jane has been with the Canadian Pony Club since 1994 when her daughter, then a horse crazy eight-year-old, asked if she could have a pony. She is now thirty-two with a horse crazy daughter of her own, and they are both still members.

Jane joined the organization knowing that they would both benefit from the wonderful education that comes with being a member. She worked as a volunteer at their regional level for many years before becoming a member of the National board as a National Director. Jane worked as the National Chair for Disciplines for quite several years, planning National and International competitions before becoming the National Chair in 2017.

Naomi Girling, P.Eng, is the Vice Chair of Canadian Pony Club and the National Director for Saskatchewan. Naomi has been actively involved in the equestrian industry for 25 years participating in numerous capacities as a rider, instructor, and official throughout that time, and is now getting her toes wet in the capacity of a pony mom with her two little girls.

She has been a member of the Canadian Pony Club Board of Directors going on ten years; 8 of those years serving in the role of Risk Management Chair. This role was a natural fit as a Professional Engineer, as Naomi’s primary focus in her profession is safety and risk mitigation. In that time, She coordinated the inclusion of the “CPC Guide on Concussion in our Sport” to all the CPC discipline rules and testing materials, helping to make the CPC one of the first equestrian organizations in Canada to address the risk and effects of concussion and return to play protocols.

Naomi and her husband Shawn have two daughters, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and an ever-patient Welsh Pony.


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B I E S Symposium Schedule

January 24, 2019

8:30 – 8:45
Welcome & Day Opening

Ian Allison host /  MC / or Tim McLeod The Ty Pozzobon Video Story

8:45 – 10:15
Keynote Speaker :

Dr Louis Francescutti

Injuries Are Not Accidents:  They are Predictable and Preventable

Injuries are the leading cause of death for Canadians under the age of 45. Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death for Canadians under the age of 35. Injuries kill more children than all other childhood diseases combined. Whether they occur at work, at home, at play or while traveling, we continue to ignore injuries as a society. Why is that? Dr. Francescutti will passionately share everything he has learned as an injury advocate and emergency medicine physician and challenge you to think very differently about the disease known as injury.

10:15 – 10:30

10:30 – 11:15
Session #1


Concussion Prevention

This presentation will cover concussion protocols, as they pertain to both English and western riding events, specifically rodeo. It will touch on who we believe should be ring/arena side to ensure safety of competitors both from a catastrophic and marginal standpoint. We will touch on the differences between Equestrian Canada’s coverage to the Professional Bull riders coverage, to the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association.

11:15 – 12:00
Session #2


Mental Health and Brain Injury

Representatives from the Ty Pozzobon Foundation will be leading an open and honest conversation about their own experiences and the loss of Ty which led to the establishing the Ty Pozzobon Foundation.

The challenges of living with brain injury and its impact on daily life affects both the injured party, families and community. Common issues include depression, anxiety, anger, substance abuse,  cognitive (thinking) issues and problems with regulating behaviour. A time for questions will be provided.

Ty Pozzobon Foundation / Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine / Jon Heshka


12:00 – 12:45

12:45 – 13:30
Session #3
Sport Concussion: Current Standard of High Performance Care and Innovation

This presentation will provide a general overview of the current standard of care for acute sport concussion (definition, recognition, assessment, management, return to sport, prevention) and touch on new, innovative advances in field as it pertains to assessment and management of this complex injury.

13:30 – 14:15
Session #4


Assessing Risk in Sport

Jon Heshka

Communicating the Message

A conversation about communicating the the message of Equine sports in a positive way while still practicing the sport responsibly. Presented by leaders from several organizations.

14:15 – 14:30

14:30 – 15:15
Session #5

Resource Networking

Foothills Concussion and Rehabilitation Centre (FCRC)

Benson Concussion Institute

Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine

Jon Heshka

Shelly Burton

Canadian Pony Club – Jane Goodliffe & Naomi Girling

University Of Calgary ICRP – Keith Yeates, PHD

15:15 – 16:00
Call To Action

Meet Our Speakers

Click On Image For Bio

Dr. Louis Francescutti

Louis Hugo Francescutti

Caring Physician & Storyteller 

Louis Hugo Francescutti: MD, PhD, MPH, FRCPC, FACP, FACPM, CCFP(PC), FRCP(Ire), FRCP(Edin), FRCP(Lon), FRCP(Glasg), ICD-D, CCPE, MSM

He is currently an emergency physician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and the Northeast Community Health Centre in Edmonton. As a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, he teaches graduate courses in leadership, advocacy and public health.

Dr. Francescutti was selected as one of Alberta’s Top 100 Physicians of the Century by the Alberta Medical Association/College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta and he was also awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal from the Government of Alberta in 2005. In 2011, he was selected by Alberta Venture as one of Alberta’s 50 most influential people. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal.

From 2010-2013 he served as the President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and in 2013-2014 he then became the President of the Canadian Medical Association.

In 2017, he was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada at Rideau Hall.

A recognized storyteller Dr. Francescutti has delivered over 1,500 presentations worldwide to a variety of diverse audiences – from industry to governments to the public.

Jon Garner

Garner has a long history and proven track record in equestrian sport as an athlete, coach, and administrator. Originally from Great Britain, he started riding at the young age of seven, and later served as a member of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in the British Army. Garner attained both Military and Civilian Equestrian Instructor certificates before moving to Canada in 1991. In 1998, Garner joined internationally acclaimed Spruce Meadows first as a professional rider and then as the Manager, Competitions in 2004. During his tenure, Garner oversaw the delivery of numerous world-class equestrian competitions as well providing colour commentary for global broadcast corporations, such as, Fox Sports and Sky Sports in the UK He served on the inaugural Dean’s Stakeholder Advisory Council at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine for six years and in 2017 he acted as Director of Sport for the Longines FEI World Cup Finals for Dressage and Jumping in Omaha Nebraska. As Director of Sport for Equestrian Canada Garner will be Chef de Mission at the upcoming World Equestrian Games in Tryon North Carolina.

Chad Besplug

3X Canadian Champion Bull Rider
Calgary Stampede Champion Bull Rider
PBR World Finals Qualifier
PBR Glen Keeley Award Winner
Board member on The Ty Pozzobon Foundation Founder and CEO of Alpha Bull

3X Canadian Champion Bull Rider
Calgary Stampede Champion Bull Rider
PBR World Finals Qualifier
PBR Glen Keeley Award Winner
Board member on The Ty Pozzobon Foundation Founder and CEO of Alpha Bull

Keith Yeates, PhD

Keith Yeates, PhD, is the Ronald and Irene Ward Chair in Pediatric Brain Injury, and Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology, at the University of Calgary, in Alberta, Canada. He leads the University’s Integrated Concussion Research Program. He has a 30 year track record of funded research focusing on the outcomes of childhood concussion and traumatic brain injury, and has published over 240 peer-reviewed journal articles, 40 book chapters, and 5 edited or co-authored books. Dr. Yeates was co-lead author of the report of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Expert Panel on Acute Diagnosis and Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury among Children and Adolescents, an invited participant in the Workshop on Sports-Related Youth Concussions hosted by the US Institute of Medicine/National Research Council, and an invited expert panel observer at the 5th International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport in Berlin. Dr. Yeates has served as President of the Society of Clinical Neuropsychology of the American Psychological Association, and is currently President of the International Neuropsychological Society.

Jon Heshka

Multi Disciplined Professional

Jon Heshka’s experience and expertise in sport and risk is wide-ranging. Jon has five degrees, played semi-pro volleyball in Brazil, has worked as a climbing guide, trained and coordinated search and rescue fulltime from 1992-99 in British Columbia, and has done mountain rescues above 15000 feet on three continents. He is an associate professor at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC. He teaches in both the law school, where he served as Associate Dean of Law for four years, and the adventure studies department. He specializes in sports law and was the first person to connect hockey violence with concussions and the law with an article published in the Globe and Mail in 2011. Jon has written a textbook which represents the next generation of thinking about risk and adventure, four book chapters including one on the legal issues in extreme sport and another on the legal context for outdoor recreation, and more than 60 articles, 10 of which are specific to sports concussions. He’s also presented at 30+ conferences worldwide including the Sports & Recreation Law Association Conference, The International Conference on Sport and Society, and the World Association for Sport Management Conference.

Jennifer Eastwood

Jennifer Eastwood has a comprehensive background in equine business consulting, and is a Law Society of Ontario Licensed Paralegal focused on contract and equine law. Originally from England, Jennifer trained at The British Racing School and The National Stud breeding farm in Newmarket, Suffolk. As a lifelong horse owner and professional, she has an extensive multidisciplinary background across the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. While managing the Fredericton SPCA, Jennifer organised Atlantic Canada’s first Compassion Fatigue workshop and steered the organization to be awarded the 2010 International Summit for Urban Animals “Shelter of the Year”. Jennifer served on the University of New Brunswick’s Research Animal Care Committee from 2008 to 2012. As Director of Technical Programs at Equestrian Canada, Jennifer is committed to advancing Canadian equestrian sport through innovation, community engagement and proactive best practice. Jennifer manages the Concussion Awareness and Procedures Portfolio for Equestrian Canada.

Dr. Blain Bugg

Rural raised in Central Alberta Blaine always had an interest in the health.  He pursued Chiropractic after witnessing significant changes in family members and horses under care.  Graduating in 1996 he landed in Calgary and began his human practice and soon after continued his post-graduate studies to include the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association training.

Current co-owner of Calgary Centre for Health, a multidisciplinary holistic clinic with a team of over 12 clinicians collaboratively focusing on patient-centered wellness.  When not in his human practice he can be found working and consulting with many local veterinarians applying Chiropractic principles to animals under their care.

Blaine has been involved with the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team for over 22 years — first, as a practitioner, followed by Coordinator for Chiropractic services, then Vice President of the Board and currently serving as the President. When he thinks he has seen it all, the sport of rodeo throws a unique and intriguing clinical scenario at the team.  Blaine is a firm believer in teamwork and enjoys seeing the synergy of multiple disciplines participating and collaborating with the Sports Medicine Team.

Blaine is an active, dedicated dad and his strong family values fit perfectly with the rodeo community.

Ian Allison

Ian Allison is Senior Vice President of Sport & Media Services at Spruce Meadows where he has been involved with Spruce Meadows’ operations and management for the last 42 years in a variety of capacities leading to his current position. In 2018 he was also appointed President and COO of Cavalry FC.Mr. Allison is a native of Calgary where he attended the Calgary Public School System and graduated from Henry Wise Wood High School in 1979. He furthered his education with a degree (BA Special) from the University of Alberta in 1983 and in 1987 was awarded a technical diploma (honours) from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. In 2011 Mr. Allison graduated from the Rotman School of Business Directors Education Program.

In his capacity Mr. Allison is responsible for all aspects of Spruce Meadows’ fully integrated Media Services, Sport, Exhibits and Technology Divisions. This includes the venue’s marketing, sponsorships, broadcast negotiations, agency services, network, commercial and corporate television production, print and electronic advertising, programming and distribution to more than 100 countries and World Wide Web initiatives, as well as the organization’s new franchise in the Canadian Premier League, Cavalry FC. Additionally, Mr. Allison is an on-air commentator and analyst for sports programming telecast around the world.

His wide ranging experience in sport governance matters has included serving as a member of the Spruce Meadows Organizing Committee, the FEI Nations Cup and Jumping Committees and on the Executive Board of the International Alliance of Equestrian Organizers (IEOA) and as President and Chairman of the Alliance of Jumping Organizers (AJO). In addition he is on the Governing Committee of the Canadian Premier League. He is a former board member of the Calgary and area TDR and the Alberta Government Strategic Tourism Planning Council reporting to the Minister of Economic Development. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Industrials and Utilities Groups of the ATCO Group of Companies.

Ian and his wife Joan have three children: two sons Mackenzie (age 27), Graham (age 25), and a daughter Avery (age 22).


Christine Reupke

Director, Equestrienne & Breed Sport, Royal Show Manager

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Dr. Brian Benson

Brian W. Benson, MD, MSc, PhD, CCFP (SEM), Dip. Sport Med. Dr. Brian Benson is an Adjunct Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Cumming School of Medicine, and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary. He has a clinical consulting practice in sport and exercise medicine at Group23 Sports Medicine. Dr. Benson is the Chief Medical Officer of the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary and Medical Director of the Benson Concussion Institute. He completed his MSc and PhD in Epidemiology focusing on sport-related concussion prevention and has served as a member of several National and North American concussion executive committees. Dr. Benson has also been the Team Physician of several high performance sport teams, including the UofC Varsity Football team, Alpine Canada, Bobsleigh Canada, Skeleton Canada, Luge Canada, Wrestling Canada, and several National Men’s Ice Hockey Teams representing Canada at the Under-18 World Championships, World Junior Championships, Spengler Cup, and Men’s World Championships.

Brandon Thome

Brandon grew up in Medicine Hat, Alberta. After high school, Brandon moved west to attend the University of Calgary. He became certified in June of 2005, and that fall moved to Edmonton to work with the U of A Varsity Athletics.

Since then Brandon has worked at the U of C and the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League before starting the Prairie Therapy venture. Brandon’s long-term goal is to see athletic therapy thrive in rural settings. Brandon’s areas of specialty are pre and post-rehab of ACL reconstruction as well as concussion management. Fittingly, he has been a prominent member of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team for the past 15 years.

Denny Phipps

Denny, grew up on a Cattle Ranch just outside Lloydminster, calling a small town of Marshall, SK home; where he still runs cattle as part of his Family operation.

Danny’s long career in Rodeo eventually led him to Dickinson State University, Dickinson North Dakota on a rodeo scholarship. Here he got an education degree, and he qualified for two National Finals Rodeos while at University. Once done school he moved to Cochrane AB, to begin his teaching career and he continued to rodeo, qualifying for the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

In 2016 Denny followed in his Dad’s footsteps of striving to be a steward of the Sport of Rodeo and joined both the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) and the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team Board of Directors. Since joining the CPRA Board, he has been lucky enough to see the association take great strides including an exciting new home for the Canadian Finals Rodeo which will be held in Red Deer and been part of some exciting initiatives focused on growing the Sport of Rodeo.

Want to Speak at a Future Symposium or Become a Sponsor?



18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW Calgary, Alberta

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Limited to 240 Attendees.


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Annette McLeod / Back on Track Canada

C: 250 574 7474