LDHS Graduate is the New Masked Rider for Texas Tech

LDHS Graduate is the New Masked Rider for Texas Tech

by Susan Neuhalfen

For the 62nd year, Texas Tech has continued its tradition of naming a new Masked Rider mascot to serve the school, and this year’s rider is a graduate of Lake Dallas High School.

2013 LDHS Graduate Charlie Snider has been selected to serve as the 55th Masked Rider for the Texas Tech University Red Raiders.

“It’s a great honor to serve the university in this capacity,” said Snider at the Transfer of Reins ceremony. “I’m looking forward to a great year.”

At the April 15th Transfer of Reins ceremony, outgoing Masked Rider Rachel McLelland transferred the reins of the horse, Fearless Champion, to Snider. The Transfer of Reins is one of Texas Tech’s oldest traditions.

At the ceremony, the school recognizes the outgoing masked rider and then welcomes the new incoming rider. The outgoing rider’s hat, mask and scarlet cape are retired, and the new rider is asked to don his or her new gear which symbolize the service of the Masked Rider to the community.

Snider, a junior from Corinth, is majoring in animal science with a focus on equine science. He began riding horses at 13 and later worked as a horse exerciser in Corinth before purchasing his own horse.

In 2013 Snider joined the equestrian team for Texas Tech, showing both western and Hunt Seal against other colleges and universities. He received numerous awards and honors including top six placements in the Intercollegiate Horse Show and served as president of the Texas Tech Equestrian Team.

From 2014 to 2016, he served as one of the Masked Rider’s assistants. He said that his experience gave him a better understanding of the program and the importance of the Masked Rider as a representative of the university.

Snider said at the ceremony that he is looking forward to lots of fun and exciting things as his year begins. Snider ended his speech at the Transfer of Reins with the Texas Tech traditional “Guns Up” hands symbol.

The Masked Rider has been the official mascot of Texas Tech University since 1954, but the tradition began at Texas Tech in the 1930s. Student “Ghost Riders” would dress in a cape and mask and appear unexpectedly at home football games, circling the field. In 1954, Texas Tech named the Masked Rider as its official mascot and every year Masked Rider tryouts are held during the spring semester.

As the Texas Tech representative, the Masked Rider makes over 300 appearances per year including games as well as community and charity events. The Masked Rider is also responsible for caring for the horse, Fearless Champion.

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