Centennial Champion to Succeed Fearless Champion as Texas Tech Mascot

Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 4:28 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2022 at 10:29 PM CDT
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Provided by Texas Tech Athletics

Texas Tech University has revealed Centennial Champion as the official name of the Masked Rider’s new horse.

Centennial Champion, also known as Buzz, a 9-year-old quarter horse gelding from Lubbock, will take his first ride during Texas Tech football’s 2022 season opener on Saturday (Sept. 3) against Murray State.

“Centennial Champion and I are looking forward to leading our new coach, staff and football team onto the field,” said 61st Masked Rider Caroline Hobbs. “I cannot thank United Supermarkets enough for hosting the naming contest and for all the Red Raider fans for sending in names. We could not do this without y’all! We are excited to see all Red Raider Nation tomorrow!”

United Supermarkets, a long-time corporate sponsor of the Masked Rider Program, led a virtual naming contest and collected more than 10,000 submissions from across the U.S. A committee of Texas Tech stakeholders and former Masked Riders selected the name from the submissions. Each entry was timestamped, and the first person to submit the chosen name won a $500 gift card, while others submitting the chosen name each won a $50 gift card.

Centennial Champion was chosen in June to succeed Fearless Champion (also known as Woody) after an exhaustive nationwide search. He made his debut in April during the Red Raiders’ annual Spring Game at Jones AT&T Stadium and has already begun making official appearances.

“I am excited we were able to announce today the name of the Masked Rider’s new horse,” said Stephanie Rhode, director of the Spirit Program. “A spirited naming contest conducted by our primary sponsor, United Supermarkets, resulted in a remarkable 10,000 entries. And with the help of many former Masked Riders and Texas Tech staff, the most popular name consistent with the Masked Rider tradition was selected. We all believe the name Centennial Champion is a perfect reflection of our great university.”