FORT WORTH, Texas ― In the mid-‘50s, Walt Disney envisioned the “happy place” that would inspire joy when he opened Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., a theme park based on the image of several iconic Disney cartoon characters.
Nearly 40 years later, rock band Ugly Kid Joe sang of “an axe wielding”Madman on the loose in Disneyland. “Nothing you can do, headline in the news, madman sure is loose in Disneyland.”
Somewhere between the two is the Built Ford Tough Series and a bucking bull.
No. It’s not a photo-op with Mickey Mouse. Nor is it a madman.
It’s Mick E Mouse.
“He’s not fun,” said 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi, who coincidentally paid a recent visit to Disneyland with his wife, Patricia. “Riders don’t enjoy him.”
He’s big, strong, athletic, kicks high, intimidating and, more importantly, like the kids from around the world who enjoy the theme park he’s never been to, this Mick E Mouse is still considered young at 6 years old.
He’s also unridden.
Marchi thinks Mick E Mouse is a contender for this year’s World Champion Bull title, and, to say the least, the bull has already put together an impressive history of success.
In three outs this year and another 18 at BFTS events between 2013 and the second-half of 2012, he hasn’t had a rider even reach four seconds since February of last year. Some of Mick E Mouse’s list of victims includes Marchi, Valdiron de Oliveira, Mike Lee (twice), Chase Outlaw, Marco Eguchi, (twice) and two-time World Champion Silvano Alves.
His average bull score has been 44.6 points.
And for good measure, he’s bucked off four additional riders at Touring Pro Division events.
“It’s one of those deals where it’s kind of like the first time I saw Code Blue,” said in-arena announcer Clint Adkins. “I got the same feeling with Mick E Mouse I did the first time I saw Code Blue. He had that aura about him.”
“He’s a pretty strong bull,” said Marchi, who lasted 2.5 seconds on the bull in Oklahoma City. “He looks like one of the best bulls we have in the PBR.”
Former Rookie of Year Reese Cates took it one step further.
“I’ve seen Mick E Mouse have trips where he’s better than Bushwacker,” Cates said. “I know as soon as you say that people are going to raise an eyebrow and kind of argue with you, but it’s really hard to argue with the fact that he’s unridden and he’s had the very best guys in the world on him. And a lot of the very best guys in the world don’t want to get on him.”
Marchi will not have to face Mick E Mouse on Saturday night at AT&T Stadium (formerly Cowboys Stadium) in Arlington, Texas, during the Dr Pepper Iron Cowboy V if he were to advance through the single-elimination, bracket-style format.
Cates, who’s in the west corner of the bracket featuring Joao Ricardo Vieira and Eguchi, won’t be so lucky.
The finalist who advances to the final round and represents the west and east corners will meet up with Mick E Mouse, while the finalist that comes through the north and south brackets will matchup with Asteroid.
Mick E Mouse is known for a big first jump before coming around to the right.
However, that wasn’t the case with Cates, who was on the dirt in 2.4 seconds three weeks ago in Anaheim, which definitely was not a happy place for the 25-year-old.
“You almost have to be prepared for that big jump and around to the right in order to make it around there from what I’ve seen,” Cates said. “I was set up kind of waiting on that and he went left. If he feels anything going to the right like he does the left he’s strong and being so big he’s really fast too. You’re not going to have an opportunity to make a mistake and get by with secondary moves on a bull that caliber.”
Adkins said Mick E Mouse knows how to use his head.
By that, he doesn’t mean whipping his head back and trying to hurt riders with his horns. He means Mick E Mouse is calculating, which is how some might remember Dillinger.
According to Adkins, who once worked with Robbie Herrington, Mick E Mouse is believed to be Dillinger’s great-grandson.
Dillinger, who was owned and hauled by Herrington, was a back-to-back World Champion Bull in 2000 and 2001. He received the Brand of Honor of 2012.
“I kind of see a little in him,” Adkins said. “Even though it’s long removed and he’s a different—this bull’s a brindle and Dillinger was black ball-faced, but it’s pretty cool to see.”
He added, “I’ve been pretty high on him and I hope that he continues to get better, stronger, faster.”
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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