Stock contractor Marlene Henry, from Dayton, Texas informed the bull riding world that Mick E Mouse was put down and laid to rest on Tuesday, August 11th due to unforeseen medical complications. Mick E Mouse suffered a slight fracture in his lower back during a PBR event in Billings, Montana, earlier this season. He was treated at Texas A&M for the injury and was recovering. Henry expected Mick E Mouse to return to the PBR bull riding stage last weekend in Biloxi, Mississippi, but irregularities in his behavior in July led Henry to seek an additional opinion about his condition from renowned veterinarian Dr. Gary Warner. During the examination, Dr. Warner discovered that the athlete had developed a lesion on his back.
Bull #81 Mick E Mouse owned by Marlene Henry. Photo by Gautreau
“We suspect that Mick E had a lymphoma lesion within his lumbar spine that caused an inability to properly be able to use his rear limbs.” Dr. Warner explained. “We tried to treat him, but he wasn’t responding so it was time to make that decision. It was a great loss for the sport. I really loved that old bull.”
It was not an easy decision for Henry, but she wanted to ensure that her prized bovine athlete would not be suffering anymore.
“Mick E is no longer in pain,” Henry said. “I will say it has not been all bad. It has been the greatest ride ever. I don’t care if he was No. 1 in the PBR books, but he was to me. He can go to the rainbow bridges and be fat and sassy.”
Bull riding athletes come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. Some are two legged and some are four legged. It’s been said more than once. . . .”there are always two athletes in every ride, the bull rider and the bull. For those close to the bucking bull industry, most will say there’s a certain unexplained attraction to the four legged superstars! And many of the most recognized bulls have interesting back stories. Such is certainly the case of Mick E Mouse.
Mick E Mouse performing at the 2012 UBBI National Finals. Photo by Gautreau
It all began when Marlene Henry took in an orphaned bull calf sired by PBR World Champion bull Dillinger. Robby Herrington delivered the calf to Henry and asked if she could save the calf. For more than a week, Henry bottle-fed the Dillinger son every five hours and helped, essentially, save the calf’s life. As fate would have it, that little orphan calf grew up and unexpectedly bred some of Henry’s cows. That mating resulted in producing 4 heifers, one of which would become Mick E Mouse’s mom!
With help from her friend Tracy LaBuff, Henry eventually bred the heifers to LaBuff’s bull, Mighty Mouse, a 2006 PBR World Finals bull and Mick E Mouse was born in 2008. Mick E Mouse was never bucked with a dummy when he was younger, but she eventually began taking him to some local bull ridings when he was 3 years old.
Mick E Mouse made his debut as a “contest” bull in May of 2011 at the United Bucking Bull, Inc (UBBI) competition in Winnie, Texas. At his first appearance there, the grandson of an orphaned son of Dillinger was marked 89 points and won 1st place. And as they say. . . .the rest is history!
“It was really something watching Mick E Mouse develop as a young superstar,” stated Randy Schmutz, general manager of the UBBI. “There was no doubt in the minds of those watching him that he would truly become a superstar! And Mick E Mouse did not disappoint!”
At the conclusion of the 2011 UBBI season, Mick E Mouse would be leading the UBBI Derby standings with over $10,000 in regular season earnings, but was unable to compete at the UBBI National Finals due to an injury. But Mick E, as Henry would call him, more than made up for his absence at the 2011 UBBI Finals during his 2012 campaign.
“In 2012, Mick E Mouse was one of the most talked about 4 year olds in the bucking bull industry,” explained Schmutz. “And his owner, Marlene Henry was one of the most unique bucking bull owners to come along in some time! You could see the unique relationship the two had and it goes back to Marlene saving the life of Mick E’s grandsire. Had she not done that, we would not know the Mick E Mouse we know today!”
During the 2012 season, Mick E Mouse dominated the competition at UBBI events and also made his debut into American Bucking Bull, Inc (ABBI) events and bucked onto the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) stage as well. Marlene Henry’s bull entered the UBBI National Finals in the #5 spot in the year-end standings. Mick E would place 1st in the first round with a score of 91 points and 4th in the second round with a score of 87.75 points. He won the UBBI National Finals championship finishing 1st in the average with a total of 178.75 points and winning a total of over $25,000 for the 2012 season. Mick E Mouse was the 2012 UBBI Reserve World Champion.
2015 was the 7-year-old bovine athlete’s fourth season on the PBR tour, where he remained unridden in 40 PBR outs. He was on his way to possibly reaching or even surpassing a PBR record set by Bushwacker back in 2013 of 42 consecutive buckoffs.
“Mick E Mouse was an extraordinary bucking bull with an even more extraordinary owner with a unique story of overcoming the odds,” shared Schmutz. “They were both special and Mick E Mouse will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Marlene on the loss of a very special and talented bucking bull.”