PUEBLO, Colo. – He may share the same name as a beloved cartoon character, but Marlene Henry’s Mick E Mouse is no bull to toy with.
The 6-year-old bucker is coming off a stellar 2014 campaign in which he extended his Built Ford Tough Series unridden streak to 28, the longest current active streak on tour. Jet black with a ghost-white face, Mick E Mouse is 1,950 pounds of athletic aggression that no bull rider has been able to master, and there’s no reason to think that will change in 2015.
In 13 outs in the PBR in 2014, the bull had an average score of 45.18 points and an average buck-off time of 3.51 seconds. Not bad for a bull that missed half the year with a hip injury.
Henry says Mick E Mouse’s combination of athleticism – which helps him leap more than three feet off the ground with ease – and force make him a tough draw for any bull rider.
“I think one thing is his size, and he makes that big jump out, hits the ground and gets stiff-legged,” said Henry, of Dayton, Texas. “There’s not much time to be able to get (in sync) with him. He has a lot of power and weighs close to 2,000 pounds. He’s a big bull.”
Mick E Mouse takes care of Guilherme Marchi at Bulls on the Beach in October.
She said the bull loves to buck and runs to the hauling trailer when it pulls up to the pasture. The even-tempered bovine knows when it’s time to do his business in the arena.
“He’s very docile, and he’s not temperamental at all,” Henry said. “It takes a whole lot to get him agitated. When he is, he is, but for the most part, he’s really gentle.
“He knows what it’s about and knows it’s time (to buck). He knows the difference.”
Mick E Mouse “hipped” himself in Arlington, Texas, in March, suffering a chipped bone in his hip that forced Henry to put him out to pasture to rest and recover. The time off did the trick, and the bull was back as good as ever, closing out the year with a fourth-place finish in the race for World Champion Bull at the World Finals in Las Vegas in October.
“Every veterinarian who looked at him told me if we just gave him the time off, he would be OK,” Henry said. “I was concerned he wouldn’t, but felt like he was going to be OK. You always worry about mentally what it’d do to them, but it didn’t seem to affect him at all.”
Henry said she and Kevin Loudamy, who hauls the bull for her, have mapped out a rough sketch of when they will buck the prized bull in 2015.
“We’ve talked about a little bit of a schedule, but haven’t completely gotten it lined out yet,” she said. “We are going to haul him probably to more events than we did this year. There were six months I couldn’t buck him (in 2014), so we’ll definitely be doing more.”
The increased exposure and outs should put Mick E Mouse among the short list of bulls that will contend for the 2015 World Champion Bull title.
“I think he’s got a good chance, but you’ve got a lot of other bulls that are there, too,” Henry said. “I think he’s got as good of a chance as all of them.”
Regardless, Henry – who works full-time for a veterinarian – is having a ball watching the four-legged phenom buck.
“It was a total accident, and I never dreamed about being where I am today,” she said. “Being in the bucking bull business was not my intention, but I’m very blessed and very fortunate. There are people who do this every year and all year long who breed hundreds or thousands of them and don’t get here, so I feel pretty good about it.”
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