New Masked Rider Takes Reins During Transfer

New Maked Rider fulfills childhood promises by mounting Midnight Matador.

DATE: April 20, 2007
CONTACT: Cory Chandler, cory.chandler@ttu.edu
(806) 742-2136



Texas Tech University student Kevin Burns accepted the reins to Midnight Matador Friday (April 20), becoming the 2007-2008 Masked Rider.

Burns, a junior animal science major from Clovis, N.M., will make hundreds of appearances and put thousands of miles on the Masked Rider’s pickup in the next year, crisscrossing the Southwest to promote Texas Tech spirit and goodwill at athletic events, parades, rodeos and elsewhere.

"This is going to be an exciting year," he said. "I’ve been looking forward to doing this for a long time. The Masked Rider is a Texas Tech icon and I can hardly believe I get to be a part of this tradition."

Burns was born on a horse breeding farm and had his picture taken astride a mount only two days later. He grew up showing and training horses and spent his first two years at Texas Tech as a member of the university’s Horse Judging Team. Last summer, he flew to Europe to help teach horsemanship clinics in Germany and Austria.

He is such an avid horseman – and Red Raider – that as a child he told anyone who’d listen he was going to be the Masked Rider someday.

"I grew up watching the Masked Rider," Burns said. "I was a Texas Tech fan and I worked with horses. It was just something I wanted to do."

Now he dons the famed cape and mask, becoming the 46th student to officially serve as the Masked Rider.

He takes the role from Amy Bell, who drove 12,000 miles and made more than 100 appearances as the 2006-2007 mascot. Bell, an animal and food science major from Kermit, will graduate in August and enter the equine industry.

CONTACT: Bruce Bills, spirit publicist, Center for Campus Life, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-5433, bruce.bills@ttu.edu.