Beyond the Red and Black with Ryan Gray

A Different Perspective on Agriculture

Building a Legacy

Living the American Dream


Finding Balance

Seeing Double in the AEC Department


The Flower Whisperer


Latest In Agriculture

Wild Hogs: The True Story

Smart Crop


What’s Happening at Tech

Red Raider Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Tier One


Red Raider Families

Go Get Lost in the Corn Maze

Honor. Heritage. History.


Also in this Issue

College Survival Secrets

Floral Design for You

Behind the Mask with the Masked Rider

CASNR Awards

Message from the Dean


the agriculturist

Behind the Mask

with the Masked Rider

Masked Rider

Story and Photos by Samuel Petty


Dressed in solid black with a scarlet cape, the Masked Rider has been an enduring symbol of the university since 1954. The current Masked Rider, Brianne Aucutt-Hight, is a senior animal science major from Clovis, N.M. This rider and horse exemplify the importance of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources as a lasting tradition in one of the first colleges instituted at Texas Tech University.



How much does Midnight Matador mean to you?


"I don’t know how you wouldn’t get attached to him. He’s got the most personality I’ve ever seen in an animal in my entire life. He’s just got his good days and bad days, but even on his bad days, you love him."


Do you enjoy traveling to away games?


"We hardly get to go to any away games because not everyone allows livestock on the field."



What’s the best part about being the masked rider?


"I’ve always been on the horse side of it. The public relations is a great part of it too, but when you feel your best is when you’re on that horse and he’s running. Here at the football games, that initial run into the stadium is what you’ve been dreaming for. It’s just amazing."


Can you describe some emotions you have before a game?


"Walking down that tunnel onto the field, it’s like your heart just starts floating. I don’t think that there are any words that could explain it, but my heart starts floating and you have a smile on your face that you can’t wipe off!"


What advice do you have for someone thinking about being the masked rider?


"I think the best advice to give them is to just get involved in the program, and get involved in field safety. Also, get involved with being the Masked Rider assistant because an outsider is at a huge disadvantage just coming in and trying for the program. Even if they are a great candidate, great rider, great public relations person, they’re going to have a big disadvantage. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that you don’t realize. And, he (Midnight Matador) is a huge responsibility."