AFS’s Corey Waggoner saddles up new horse as Texas Tech’s 52nd Masked Rider
A junior animal science major from Texas Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources took the reins as one of the most recognizable college mascots in the country on Friday (Apr. 19) at the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. Corey Waggoner, Texas Tech’s 52nd Masked Rider, will be the first to officially ride the university’s new horse, Fearless Champion.
Waggoner was born and raised in the Hub City as a Red Raider fan. “I have pictures of me as a little kid dressed in red and black on a jet-black horse from one of my riding club’s parade appearances,” he said.
The son of Travis and Annette Waggoner, Corey Waggoner attended New Deal High School and graduated with an associate degree in science from South Plains College in 2011 before transferring to Texas Tech. He’s been a volunteer on the Masked Rider field safety crew.
Competing in American Association of Sheriff Posses and Riding Club playdays, Waggoner has been club and district champion in his age group every year he competed. He won the high point champion saddle in 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He’s a member of the American Quarter Horse Association, American Paint Horse Association, the American Association of Sheriff Posses and Riding Club, and the National Association of Riding Clubs and Sheriff Poses.
Wearing black riding clothes, mask, bolero hat, scarlet cape, and perched atop Fearless Champion, a black quarter horse, the Masked Rider is among the most colorful symbols of school spirit in the nation. The Masked Rider tradition dates to the 1936 season when George Tate, wearing a cape made by Tech’s home economics department, led the team onto the field aboard a horse borrowed from the Tech barn.
During an average year the Masked Rider travels more than 10,000 miles making appearances at athletic events, rodeos and other functions. This individual also appears at men’s and women’s basketball games and several Texas Tech baseball games. “I look forward to representing Texas Tech as a friendly face to the public and spreading school spirit,” Waggoner said.
Written by Norman Martin
CONTACT: Stephanie Rhode, Spirit Program Director, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-5433 or firstname.lastname@example.org