The Texas Tech Red Raiders’ nationwide search for the Masked Rider’s new horse concluded in June. After almost ten years of service, Fearless Champion (also known as Woody) made his final run during the Red Raiders vs. Oklahoma State football game last November.
Buzz, who will now be known as Centennial Champion, is a nine-year-old quarterhorse gelding from Lubbock and will be the new black steed racing across the field on game days.
“Buzz is very similar in disposition to the past two mascots, Midnight Matador and Fearless Champion,” Sam Jackson, equine director for the Masked Rider Program and a professor of Animal and Food Sciences in the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources told Fox 34 television. “He has a willing, calm demeanor and is a trusting horse by nature.”
Centennial Champion, who was still known as Buzz, made his debut in the April Red Raiders’ annual Spring Game scrimmage at Jones AT&T Stadium.
“He is comfortable around people and noise and appears to be a quick learner,” Jackson explained. “He was utilized in a variety of ways by his previous owners. His past jobs included working cattle, roping events, and general recreational riding. The new Masked Rider, Caroline Hobbs, has begun to acclimate him to his new home and will begin to make appearances this month.”
United Supermarkets is a long-time sponsor of the Masked Rider Program is held a naming contest for Buzz beginning June 15 and ending on July 15. The winning entry will receive a $500 gift card to United Supermarkets.
“Finding a new horse who is perfect for this job falls totally on Dr. Jackson’s shoulders,” said Stephanie Rhode, director of the Spirit Program and the Masked Rider Program. “It is an arduous process and he takes it seriously. He looks at a lot of horses and rides and examines them all. And most of them are not local. He’s been going through this process since last fall. We are all lucky to have him in this role.”
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