When former Masked Rider Corey Waggoner and wife, Katelyn, met through the Masked Rider program, they didn’t know the fruits of that life-shaping experience would still be felt nearly a decade later.
"The first time I met Corey he was on Woody," said Katelyn Waggoner, wife of Corey who spent 2013-2015 with the Masked Rider program as part of the field safety team.
That initial meeting sparked a life-long companionship.
"To me, meeting my husband is one-and-the-same with being part of the Masked Rider program and experiencing Woody's infectious personality.”
Woody retired in June following 10 years of loyal service. His time at Texas Tech can be measured by his 11 riders, dozens of Masked Rider assistants, and thousands of fans.
Former Masked Riders can apply to provide forever homes for retired Masked Rider horses. The competition to bring Woody home included nearly all his former Masked Riders with the Waggoners winning out in the end.
"He is such a big deal to so many people and the fact that we were selected is a tremendous honor to us,” Corey said. The Waggoners have welcomed Woody to their home outside of Amarillo, where he will have the open fields and endless treats that he has earned.
"We're blessed to take him home and give him the happy retirement he well deserves." Katelyn said.
As for Corey, bringing Woody home has brought their family full-circle.
"Woody was our horse during that year that we met and now we're getting to take him home as a family."