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Texas Tech’s Midnight Matador Retiring to Former Rider

The university’s 43rd rider will take ownership of the retired horse.

Written by Leslie Cranford

Texas Tech University’s Midnight Matador will retire under the ownership of a familiar face. Stacy Stockard Moncibaiz will be transferred ownership of the horse. A sub-committee of the Masked Rider Advisory Committee reviewed proposals from former riders interested in taking ownership of the horse.

Moncibaiz, the 43rd Masked Rider, served in the 2004-2005 season. She graduated from Texas Tech in 2005 with a bachelor’s in agricultural communications. Moncibaiz earned her master’s in agricultural education in 2006 and graduated from the Texas Tech School of Law in 2009. She is the marketing coordinator for Texas Tech’s Transportation & Parking Services.

“Midnight Matador has been the heart and soul of our Masked Rider program for more than a decade,” Moncibaiz said. “I am honored to be selected to take care of him in his retirement. His well-being means the world to me, and I look forward to providing him with a wonderful, loving home.”

Amy Murphy, director for the Center for Campus Life, knows Midnight is in good hands.

“Stacy was an exceptional Masked Rider and has continued her involvement with the program as a representative on the Masked Rider Advisory Committee and Field Safety, as well as with Texas Tech University as a committed alumni and staff member,” Murphy said. “Stacy outlined a plan that will care for the aging horse and provide a stable home for him as he retires. One of the greatest aspects of the Masked Rider program is the community of former riders like Stacy who offer their continued involvement and support to the program. It only makes sense that Midnight Matador should make his new home with one of his former riders.”

Midnight Matador served 10 seasons and 11 riders, the longest-serving mascot in the program’s history. Only Happy IV-II’s eight-year term from 1980-1987 is the closest in length of service. Midnight was the 13th horse to ride for the program.

Selected for the Masked Rider program in 2002 at the age of three from Hoggett Ranches in Bluff Dale, Midnight Matador carried Moncibaiz, as well as Jessica Melvin, Ben Holland, Justin Burgin, Amy Bell, Kevin Burns, Ashley Hartzog, Brianne Aucutt Hight, Christi Chadwell, Bradley Skinner and the current rider, Ashley Wenzel.

Midnight Matador was featured on “ESPN College Gameday,” “ESPN Road Trip,” “60 Minutes,” and in the American Quarter Horse Journal. In addition to home football games, he has run at home baseball games, the Alamo Bowl, the TicketCity Bowl, San Angelo Colts games and Cowboy Stadium. He starred in the Texas Tech University System’s video for Vision & Tradition: The Campaign for Texas Tech. He also was recognized by The Associated Press as one of the top ten coolest college mascots.

The Masked Rider committee announced Jan. 18 that Midnight’s replacement is Hollywood at Dusk, an 8-year-old Quarter Horse gelding from a ranch in Tulia. A naming contest is underway through March 1, with submissions emailed to namethehorse@ttu.edu.

CONTACT: Amy Murphy, managing director, Center for Campus Life, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-5433 or amy.murphy@ttu.edu; Stacy Moncibaiz, (806) 742-6969 ext. 284.

 

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