Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify information provided in the press release from the Professional Bull Riders.
PUEBLO, Colo. — Stock contractor Marlene Henry has informed the Professional Bull Riders that the legendary Mick E Mouse was euthanized Tuesday because of unexpected medical complications.
Mick E Mouse's final competition was in April in Billings, when the bull suffered a slight fracture in his lower back during the 15/15 Bucking Battle. A PBR official said Wednesday, however, that the lower-back lesion and injury suffered in Billings were unrelated.
After the injury, Mick E Mouse was treated at Texas A&M University and returned to his home in Brownsboro, Texas, to recover during the summer.
Henry said the bull was scheduled to return to the Built Ford Tough Series (BFTS) this past weekend in Biloxi, Miss., but irregularities in his behavior led her to seek an additional opinion from veterinarian Gary Warner. During the exam, Warner discovered that the bull had developed a lesion on his back.
“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.” Warner said. “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, Henry said, but she wanted to ensure that her prized bovine would not be suffering anymore.
“Mick E is no longer in pain,” she 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.”
This year was the 7-year-old bull’s fourth season on the BFTS, where he remained unridden in 34 outs. No bull rider ever conquered him, leading to the possibility of him reaching or even surpassing the PBR record of 42 consecutive buck offs set by Bushwacker in 2013.
The 2015 PBR World Champion Bull contender managed to buck off riders such as 2013 PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney, 2014 PBR Rookie of the Year J.W. Harris, 2008 PBR World Champion Guilherme Marchi and current No. 3 rider in the PBR world standings Matt Triplett. He also posted the top bull score of the 2015 BFTS season with 47 points out of 50 in Anaheim, Calif., against Harris.
According to probullstats.com, Mick E Mouse has acquired an average bull score of 44.76 points. The riderclosest to hitting the 8-second mark was Harris during the 2014 BFTS event in Thackerville, Okla., but Mick E Mouse tossed him in 7.47 seconds.
“Mick E Mouse was an extraordinary animal athlete with an incredible story behind his rise to fame.” PBR CEO Sean Gleason said. “He was one of those special bulls with the raw talent and a never quit attitude that made him virtually impossible to ride. It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to a remarkable bucking bull and the entire PBR organization is grieving with Ms. Henry and Mr. Loudamy as they have to deal with the loss.”