The family and friends of a young bull rider who took his own life after suffering serious concussions will honour him this summer with the first Logan Parent Memorial Bull Ride.
Parent, 20, died in October 2020, following years of chronic traumatic encephalopathy and mental health struggles as a result of his concussions.
“Logan was not in the dark about his mental health,” said Cody Call, his best friend and roommate. “He was open about it. He talked about it and did all things the world tells you to do when you’re dealing with head trauma and this still happened.”
His death prompted his mother Cindy Parent and several close friends to start the Logan Parent Foundation to raise awareness of mental health issues.
Call said they have lost many members of the rodeo and ranching community over the past two years, underscoring the need for more awareness in the bull riding circuit.
He noted concussions are a common occurrence, often leading people like Parent to take their own lives.
“We’re still years behind in rodeo and we need to a find a way to close that gap sooner rather than later,” Call said. “Cowboys are not built like they used to be and we need to find a way to safely continue our sport.”
He and others hope the memorial ride, slated from 6-9 p.m. June 10-11 at the Stan Halcro Agriplex, will help spread the message about the effects of CTE on cowboys.
Dave Atkinson, a foundation member and bull rider who mentored Parent, said this event is important to him as Parent was close to his family and coached his son Rhett’s baseball team.
He said he would like to see Parent’s selfless and hardworking spirit carried on.
“He put 110 per cent into everything he did and we’re going to do the same thing with this event,” Atkinson said.
“Everything happens for a reason and if Logan’s passing means we can bring awareness to mental health stigmas then that’s why he passed.”
Cindy Parent said her son was always helping others, so the foundation is a way for them to honour him. She said he would be especially happy his second rodeo family, including Call and Atkinson, are joining her.
They are hoping for a good turnout at the arena, which holds between 300 and 500 people. The fee is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students. They hope to raise around $20,000 to put on more events and eventually fund a scholarship for South Cariboo athletes.
Anyone willing to volunteer or sponsor the event is asked to call Cindy Parent at 250-706-9380.