Horse Mascots
 By Winniefield Park   •   9th Dec 2016   •   2,319 views   •   0 comments

Quick Six, also known as Toby, is coming to the end of his career. He’s been the touchdown horse for the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders. Quick Six is one of the team’s two mascots. The other is a rather woebegone dog named Ralph who looks like his costume has been to the cleaners a few too many times. Quick Six is clearly the more exciting mascot.

Quick Six is not the only equine football team mascot. Thunder is a gray Arabian gelding, who has been the Denver Bronco’s mascot since 2004. The original Thunder was a gray Arabian stallion, whose registered name was JB Kobask. The stallion was the mascot for eleven years before the current Thunder took the job. Before becoming the Denver Bronco’s mascot, the gelding was the personal riding horse of the woman that now gallops him down the sidelines at each Denver game. While the current mascot hasn’t had the opportunity, the original Thunder also appeared at Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego and XXXIII in Miami. Thunder is one of two Broncos mascots. The other is “Miles”, whose costume thankfully appears not to have been sent to the same cleaners as Ralph’s.

The Denver Broncos aren’t the only team with the name Broncos that have a horse for a mascot. The Brisbane Broncos play football - the sport that we in North America call rugby. Each time these Broncos play, Buck, an Australian stock horse helps keep the crowd’s energy and excitement on high. When Buck isn’t entertaining the crowds, he’s being schooled in dressage or jumping. His resume reveals Buck is the ultimate all-rounder, able to do a bit of everything, including crowd-pleasing.

Since 2006, New Mexico University’s football team mascot was an American Quarter Horse named Tarver Plenty Redman. He appeared as the team’s mascot with the name of Keystone. The mascot’s name was chosen by vote by the student body. In 2014, a video of Keystone went viral when he took out a student during his gallop up the sidelines. There were no injuries as a result of the collision. In 2016, a new horse took the role. The original Keystone was bay roan. The new Keystone is a nineteen-year-old gray.

Every time the University of California’s football team scores a goal, Traveller gallops a lap around the track that circles the field. The current Traveller is actually Traveler VII, the seventh of a series of ‘white’ horses to be the team’s mascot. Traveler and his rider perform in a slightly different costume than most. Although named originally for Robert E. Lee’s horse, rather than traditional western wear, this Traveller carries a Trojan soldier in full uniform. The Traveller mascots have not only appeared in the USC home games. Over the years, the horses have appeared at many publicity events including the New Year's Day Rose Bowl Parade. Since 1996, starting with the original mascot, there have been grade horse, Arabians, and Tennessee Walkers. The current Traveller is an Andalusian.

It takes a special horse to tolerate the noise and excitement of the sporting events such as football and rugby games that they have to perform in. For the rider, it has to be exciting to be such an obvious symbol of your team. What do you think? Are you and your horse cut out to be a team mascot? What kind of team?
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