Quarterhorse ‘Buzz’ makes Texas Tech debut

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 4:53 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Seven months after the Texas Tech Spirit Program announced the retirement of its long-time colt “Fearless Champion”, the exhaustive search is now complete. A nine-year-old quarterhorse gelding, from Shallowater, known to the program as “Buzz”, will be taking on the Red Raider responsibilities this fall.

For now, he has taken on the name of “Buzz,” mainly because he complements “Woody”, which was an abbreviation of Fearless Champion’s birth name, “Hollywood At Dusk”. This, of course, is referred from Disney Pixar’s “Toy Story” series. Unbeknownst to “Buzz”, he was the winning candidate from a tryout process earlier this year.

“We took him and two other horses to the spring game as many people saw, so this was the third horse that we tried,” said Caroline Hobbs, who is the program’s 61st Masked Rider. “All three horses did phenomenal, but I think it was his mannerisms and his attitude that put him over the top.”

While the program’s horses are expected to be fierce on game days, they also need people skills since they are accessible to fans during most of the year. Hobbs says it was his character that made him the perfect choice.

“He just has a great personality, and I’m so excited for the public to get to know him, and hopefully by the end of this month or next month, we’ll be able to get him out and take him to a couple of appearances and get him on campus and let the Lubbock community get to know our next Masked Rider’s horse.”

Not only have Buzz and Fearless worked together at the Texas Tech Equestrian Center, but they’ve struck up quite a friendship.

“He loves Fearless. He and fearless are best buds. They talk across the aisle., so he really does have a great personality,” Hobbs says. “His mannerisms are phenomenal, and it reminds us a lot about Fearless. It’s a good reminder and a good way to make me feel better, with welcoming a new horse and letting Fearless retire.”

Red Raider fans can be a part of the naming process. United Supermarkets is offering $500 to the one who can come up with it. Hobbs says the program is always looking for names that best resemble the university. The preview two mascots, “Midnight Matador” and “Fearless Champion” were named from lyrics used in the “Matador Song,” which is played after Texas Tech sporting events.

The new name will be announced July 15.

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