60 Years of Texas Tech’s Masked Rider


In 1954, just before kickoff in the Gator Bowl, the late Joe Kirk Fulton and his horse Blackie began one of the most unique and exciting pregame traditions in college football: the Texas Tech Masked Rider.

Today, 60 years later, this year’s rider Mackenzie White and her horse Fearless Champion will lead the Red Raiders on to the field to kickoff the 2014 season against Central Arkansas.

Eleven riders wore the mask from 1953 to 1973, beginning with Fulton. Since then there’s been an annual passing of the reins down a long line of horsemen and women.

The horses themselves have always had longer tenures. Fearless Champion is coming into his second full year after replacing Midnight Matador in 2012 at the end of the year. He served as the Masked Rider horse from 2001-2012 and was the program’s longest serving horse until injury forced him to retire.

Last year, Bleacher Report put together a list of the top 25 best entrances in college football, and the Masked Rider checked in at No. 8.

"The Masked Rider is a tradition that was born as possibly the greatest team entrance in collegiate sports history.That tradition continues today with the Masked Rider’s gallop that leads the Red Raiders onto the field. Texas Tech players come and go, but the masked rider remains a constant.Plus, even if you don’t know the history, a black rider with a red cape storming the field on a black horse is a sight any fan will remember for a lifetime."

In honor of the Masked Rider tradition celebrating such a milestone, here’s a video of probably the greatest team entrance they’ve ever led in Jones AT&T Stadium: 2008 vs Texas.