Texas Tech’s Masked Rider Rides Again

Retired rope horse Skips Cody Jay was lounging in the pasture when the urgent need arose for a black, bombproof horse.

America's Horse

Skips Cody Jay and Masked Rider Lyndi Starr grace the cover of the November 2018 America's Horse. Scroll down to read their story.

American Quarter Horses are renowned for their dependability, but 21-year-old Skip Cody Jay recently showed himself to be the very definition of that word.

“Cody,” owned by Jim and Mavis Jennings of Amarillo, was lounging in the pasture in semi-retirement when the urgent need arose for a black, bombproof horse.

Texas Tech’s iconic mascot, the Masked Rider, traditionally leads the football team onto the field during home games at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. But her horse, “Fearless Champion,” (registered as BQH Hollywoodatdusk) suffered a freak accident less than two weeks before the season opener. His injuries weren’t serious, but he had to have some time off.

Sam Jackson, the adviser for the Masked Rider program, sent out a press release, announcing Fearless Champion’s absence from the upcoming game against Lamar and alerting fans that he was searching for a temporary replacement.

It would have to be a horse comfortable with gunfire, fireworks, a marching band, spirit team members with large flags – and a capacity crowd of 50,000 fans. Oh, and the horse has to be black, which limits the search to about 3 percent of the American Quarter Horse population. Good luck with that, right?

The November issue of America’s Horse tells the story of how Cody the rope horse found his way to Lubbock, and how he fit seamlessly into the role, saving the day. Masked Rider Lyndi Starr called him a “godsend.”

Read the complete story: "Texas Tech's Masked Rider Rides Again."   

America’s Horse is an exclusive publication for AQHA members and owners, offering up heartwarming stories about American Quarter Horses and their owners, as well practical advice on how best to train and care for the horses in our care.

Visit www.aqha.com/join to learn more about this and other great AQHA member benefits.