PUEBLO, Colo. – Marlene Henry has decided to withdraw World Champion Bull contender Mick E Mouse from the upcoming Built Ford Tough Series event in Biloxi, Mississippi, following a setback in his recovery from a slight lower back fracture suffered in Billings, Montana, this past April.
Henry informed the PBR that a checkup last week revealed Mick E Mouse was still dealing with some nerve and muscle damage in the area near his back fracture.
Therefore, she and stock contractor Kevin Loudamy have decided to bring Mick E Mouse to renowned veterinarian Dr. Gary Warner on Wednesday for further analysis.
“I am sad, the last week I have had a really hard time,” Henry said. “I have not been able to sleep, eat or nothing. I feel a whole lot better that he is going to Warner for another opinion.”
Henry said there is no timetable for Mick E Mouse’s return and that the biggest priority is making sure her bovine athlete can have a safe and healthy future.
“I just want to fix him to where he can live the rest of his life comfortably,” Henry said. “Right now, that is my main goal.”
Mick E Mouse sustained the injury during the 15/15 Bucking Battle in Billings when he slipped with Nathan Schaper attempting to ride him.
Mick E Mouse has bucked off 34 consecutive riders on the BFTS – six this season – and averages 44.84 points per out. He has yet to be ridden in his four-year career.
Warner actually treated Mick E Mouse, who is now 7 years old, for a different back injury that occurred at a non-PBR event when he was 3 years old.
Mick E Mouse’s recovery this summer originally appeared to be on schedule after he spent two weeks at Texas A&M at the end of April and early May. However, Henry and Loudamy started to notice in July that Mick E Mouse, who overcame a right hip fracture last season, appeared a little off sometimes when he would take a quick turn.
“It seemed like he was getting better all the time and then all at once he started having this, every now and then when he goes to turn it is almost like he doesn’t know where his butt end is at,” Henry said. “He doesn’t do it every time. Right there that tells me there is something wrong with his back.”
Loudamy brought Mick E Mouse to Dr. Rob Thoni for a checkup in July and Mick E Mouse underwent treatment for a potential hock injury.
The treatment appeared to have worked as, according to Henry, Mick E Mouse looked 80 percent better. Yet two weeks ago, Mick E Mouse was once again favoring himself at times when he turned.
“When he walks straight, he plays in the sand, he runs, you never notice it,” Henry said. “He doesn’t do it every time.”
Henry added that she doesn’t believe Mick E Mouse is feeling any pain.
“I honestly don’t think the bull feels pain,” she said. “When he does that, it is not like he stops and flinches. It is almost like he doesn’t know he is doing it.”
Regardless, Henry has always put her animal’s well-being at the forefront of her decisions and she would rather have Mick E Mouse undergo additional testing instead of putting her bull at further risk inside the arena.
The main objective for now is to make sure Mick E Mouse is 100 percent healthy and that he has a long fruitful life outside of the arena whenever his career in the PBR comes to a conclusion.
“He is a 7-year-old bull. He still has a lot of years to live,” Henry said. “I want it to be quality.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
© 2015 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.