Developing: Code Blue held out of competition

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Contractor Chad Berger confirmed that 2009 World Champion Bull Code Blue was held out of Touring Pro competition last weekend in Bismarck, N.D., over concerns of a pinched nerve in his back.

“When I saw him come off the truck, I told Rick [Wagoner] there’s something not right,” said Berger, who, along with Clay Struve is partners on the bull with Wagoner and Jimmy Walton. “Then when we introduced the bull during the intro, every time he’d turn he’d lose his balance in the backend, and I said, ‘We can’t buck that bull.’”

The story was first reported Sunday morning in a blog entry posted by announcer Clint Adkins, who was in Bismarck for the PBR Bull Riding Challenge.

Berger said he hopes to have a local chiropractor and a veterinarian examine Code Blue later today.

“He’s just off,” Berger said. “We’re going to see if something’s out of line in his back and pinching a nerve.”

Code Blue, who turns 6 this year, won the world title in his first season on the Built Ford Tough Series. He was unridden in 14 outs in 2009, and has been covered only once in 11 outs this year. J.B. Mauney rode him for just 76.25 points in the final round in New York, receiving a subpar score because he nearly wound up underneath the bull.

Code Blue was last bucked in New Orleans, when he was marked 45.5 points. He was 46.75 the week prior, bucking off Vince Northrop in Albuquerque, N.M.

Berger hopes to know more about the bull’s condition on Tuesday or Wednesday. Updates will be posted as more information becomes available.

— by Keith Ryan Cartwright

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