Midnight Matador, the horse for the Texas Tech Masked Rider program, has been sidelined for Texas Tech's game against West Virginia on Saturday for precautionary reasons after undergoing medical testing this week.
Midnight Matador and this year's Masked Rider, Ashley Wenzel of Friendswood, will continue to make limited appearances, including the Homecoming Parade and pre-game autograph opportunity at the Frazier Alumni Pavilion and will be on the sidelines as the Red Raiders battle No. 5/4 West Virginia. However, the horse will be unable to make its traditional team-leading charge down the field on Saturday.
Texas Tech officials and the Masked Rider program veterinarians will continue to evaluate Midnight Matador's condition over the next few weeks. Midnight Matador has served the Masked Rider program since 2002 and is the longest serving mascot/horse in the program's history.
The Masked Rider tradition began on Jan 1, 1954, at the Gator Bowl when Joe Kirk Fulton led the Red Raiders onto the field and helped inspire a 35-13 win over the Auburn Tigers.