(Texas Tech photo/file)
LUBBOCK (January 18, 2013)--Texas Tech's Masked Rider school pride and spirit program has new horse that’s now named Woody, but will get a new name to be chosen by fans.
School officials in Lubbock say the formal naming contest for the 8-year-old quarter horse began Friday and runs through March 1.
Texas Tech recently completed purchase of the 1,100-pound gelding called Hollywood at Dusk from a ranch in Tulia.
Woody replaces 13-year-old Midnight Matador, which was retired in October for medical reasons after serving as the Masked Rider's mount since 2002.
Woody has already made a large-crowd appearance as Tech's equine mascot.
The horse was guided by Masked Rider Ashley Wenzel at the Dec. 28 Meineke Car Care Bowl at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Tech beat Minnesota 34-31.
“Woody was chosen as the new mount for the Masked Rider because he best fit all of the criteria that a horse in this role must possess,” said Sam Jackson, associate chair of Tech’s Animal and Food Sciences and Masked Rider Program advisor.
“Several of the horses that were evaluated met some of the criteria, but the list of potential horses became quite short when all of the necessary traits were evaluated. The most significant requirement for a horse in this role is to be absolutely well trained and quiet in his disposition. Most of the horses that were evaluated were simply not quiet-minded enough or did not have the natural disposition to be able to excel in this position.”