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Masked Rider Named One of AP's Top College Mascots

The mascot ranks ninth in The Associated Press poll.

Written by Blayne Beal

The Masked Rider is one of the most recognizable college mascots in the country.

The Masked Rider is one of the most recognizable college mascots in the country.

The Masked Rider, a worldwide symbol of the strength and prestige of Texas Tech, was named by The Associated Press as the ninth best mascot in college football.

“This is a tremendous honor and we would like to thank the many voters of The Associated Press for recognizing our Masked Rider program,” said Director of Athletics Gerald Myers. The AP recognizes something that we Red Raiders have known for a very long time, in that the Masked Rider is very special in college sports and represents the great strength of the students and alumni of Texas Tech University. Nobody makes a better entrance on Saturday’s than the Masked Rider, and I would like to pay tribute to Christi Chadwell, our current rider, and all the former riders that have come before her. Their service and representation of Texas Tech is unparalleled.”

The AP ranked the Top 12 mascots in college football and two other Big 12 institutions made the list. Ralphie, the buffalo from the University of Colorado, topped the poll while Texas’ Bevo ranked seventh.

About the Masked Rider

On Jan. 1, 1954, Texas Tech fans attending the Gator Bowl in Tampa, Florida, witnessed the evolution of a beloved tradition that Red Raider fans would embrace for decades to come. Dressed in black with a long flowing cape and mounted on a solid black horse, Joe Kirk Fulton caught the eyes of the nation when he charged onto the playing field to lead the Red Raider football team. Ed Danforth of the Atlanta Constitution wrote, “No team in any bowl game ever made a more sensational entrance.” The dramatic entry by the horse and rider electrified the crowd as well as the team, which beat Auburn 35-13.

Fifty-six years later, the Texas Tech Masked Rider is one of the most recognizable college mascots in the country. Wearing black riding clothes, mask, bolero hat, scarlet cape, and perched atop Midnight Matador, a jet black quarter horse, the Masked Rider is a colorful symbol of school spirit and pride. The Masked Rider leads the team onto the field before each home game and appears at other Red Raider sporting events. The rider and horse also represent Texas Tech at rodeos, parades, civic events and school activities around the state.

Serving the Masked Rider position for 2010-2011 academic school year is Christi Chadwell, from Garland. Chadwell is a sophomore agriculture communications major.

The Masked Rider is selected through a process involving a horsemanship trial scored by independent professional judges and interviews with the university’s Masked Rider Advisory Committee. Wells Fargo Bank established the Wells Fargo Masked Rider Endowment in 1995 to fund operations of the Masked Rider program and provide the $2,650 Masked Rider Scholarship. Wells Fargo has pledged a total of $250,000 to complete the endowment and guarantee the future of the Masked Rider tradition. In addition, Wells Fargo provided funding to obtain the current horse, the Masked Rider pickup truck and the horse trailer.

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22 Responses to “Masked Rider Named One of AP's Top College Mascots”

  1. Jan Says:

    Gives me cold chills every time the Masked Rider leads the Red Raiders onto the field!!!!!

  2. Kristen Says:

    From the time I was a kid, I attended Tech games with my family. I always took a book to read, since football didn’t mean anything to me. But when the Masked Rider game around I stood up and paid attention. What an awesome sight!

  3. Chris Says:

    The best experience at every home football game is when the Mask Rider charges out on to the field. It fills the stadium with energy and excitement. I love it !

  4. The Mass Communicator Earns Clarion Award :: Texas Tech Today Says:

    [...] Masked Rider Named One of AP’s Top College Mascots [...]

  5. masked raider Says:

    “….the Texas Tech Masked Rider is one of the most recognizable college mascots in the country.” I would disagree. Never heard of this foolish mascot before coming to Lubbock. In fact I would venture to say most people outside the Big 12 conference would know where Lubbock is.

  6. Allen L. Stidger BA 75' & JD 84 Says:

    Can you believe that a big fat long horned UT cow and an ugly smelly hairy beast like the Colorado buffalo finished in front of the Texas Tech Masked Rider? Both notoriously stupid animals.

    Kind of destroys the credibility of the poll. Frankly, as far as I am concerned, there are only two other mascots in the country that even belong on the same field as the Masked Rider. That would be the USC Trojan and Florida State’s Chief Osceola. After those two and the Masked Rider, everyone else is way behind the lead pack.

  7. Cindy BS Elem. Ed. 75/BBA Acctg. 82 Says:

    The masked rider and horse have always electrified the crowd. Too bad the masked rider and horse are not able to run around the rampway like in the good old days. It was great Tech tradition to ride the horse all around the statium rampway! But no matter where you see our mascot, it represents our school in a dignified classy way!!

  8. TTU Alum Says:

    Don’t let Raider Red know—he still thinks he’s the TTU mascot!

  9. Ryan Smith Says:

    Congrats! We do have a great mascot program! GO TECH!

  10. Andrea R. Purdy Says:

    Love those Raiders, I remember the first time I went to a football game and watched the Masked Rider run the stadium. Truly a sight to behold. Made me wish I could do it. Red Raiders all the way!

  11. Kathleen Kirchoff Says:

    I miss the days of seeing the Masked Rider circling the field in a victory lap after touchdowns, reins in her teeth and guns up! Never saw another mascot compare to ours: Masked Rider or RAIDER RED. Both are classic!

  12. Paul BSEE'63 Says:

    Love the Red Raider Masked rider, but where did dthe Matador go? That would be a great complement to the Masked rider with the beautiful attire Matadors wear and the cape and sword. Raider Red adds to the spice, but he is a Johnny-come-lately you know.

  13. MARG Says:

    WHO WAS # 1???
    HOOK’EM HORNS!!!!

  14. Norma Pruitt Allbright Says:

    All I ever wanted to do was be the rider on that fabulous horse. My goal in life was to ride that horse into the Raider stadium. What a rush, What a beautiful sight! Baylor University Grad 1974 but my heart was in Lubbock!!

  15. Summer Chandler Says:

    According to the third paragraph, Ralphie was the top mascot.

    “The AP ranked the Top 12 mascots in college football and two other Big 12 institutions made the list. Ralphie, the buffalo from the University of Colorado, topped the poll while Texas’ Bevo ranked seventh.”

    Wreck em, Tech.

  16. Douglas Seidel Says:

    What’s exciting about a Buffalo or a cow?? They only excite me when I see them on my plate, next to a baked potato!

    Two Bits; Four Bits, Six Bits a Dollar!

  17. Greg Says:

    Yeah, MARG, re-read the story again. TU’s cow is NOT #1. I am sure it wasn’t even in the top 10 with the initial vote, but due to politics, threats, and pressure from TU’s authorities, it was placed at #7. Ha!

    Fight, Raiders, Fight!!!!!!!!!

  18. Marilyn Hubbard Says:

    Impressive! Should have been NO1

  19. Chris Says:

    Well, SUMMER, DOUGLAS, and GREG
    1. 7 is still better than 9!!
    2. Maybe Tech would have a much better reputation if the fans were a little classier. There is nothing wrong with school pride, but there is a line that can be crossed. It’s hard to be a fan of Tech when you go to a game and are embarrassed that this behavior is considered acceptable in any collegiate environment.

    The masked rider is a cool mascot and should be represented with the same pride and dignity that it portrays, but still…..

    3. SCOREBOARD!!!!! HOOK ‘EM HORNS!!!

    _

  20. Maria Morales Says:

    Why are UT people not on their own website?? hmm…

    Tech just keeps getting better and better. yay Raiders =D

  21. Lauri Says:

    The Colorado buffalo is run out onto the field like the Masked Rider. I think it deserves to be in the top ten. I like bevo, but he just stands or lays down. Not very intimidating.

  22. taylor Says:

    Chris from UT – You make it sound like the Masked Rider is the one that embarrassed you. I can assure you that no Masked Rider has ever done anything to embarass Texas Tech on the field!! Every student that has been the Masked Rider HAS represented the school with the upmost diginity and pride.
    I applaud the students who have had this honor – Keep Up the Good Work!!

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