DHS grad named Texas Tech mascot

Dublin High School Graduate Laurie Tolboom will be entertaining thousands of people in the coming year even though many won’t know her name.

She was named Texas Tech’s 56th Masked Rider mascot in an April 19 Transfer of Reins ceremony.

“I was pretty excited,” Tolboom said. ”My hands were shaking when I got the call.”

This has been a goal of hers since she started at Texas Tech in the fall of 2013. Four years later as a graduate student, she has claimed the title.

It was a long road to this point, though, as try-outs carried over an entire semester. Tolboom had to show skills in horse knowledge and riding tests. She already had the experience as she started riding at the age of five and won several awards in the Erath County Junior Livestock horse show during high school.

She also had to show proficiency in driving trucks and trailers, answering essay questions and finally, interview with members of the university.

Tolboom was known to Texas Tech and those in the Masked Rider program though. She was on the equestrian team her freshman and sophomore years. She also assisted the Masked Rider for the past two years, so she is aware of the commitment involved. 

“Last year, the Masked Rider had 312 appearances,” she said. Although the mascot is most know for leading the Texas Tech Raiders onto the field, the rider is also called to appear in parades and other schools for engagements.

Her first ride was Friday, but she has already had seven appearances.

“It’s a big time commitment,” she said. “You pretty much give up your life for a year.”

She does it gladly, though, because it’s been a dream of hers for so long. She said the most exciting thing about becoming the Masked Rider is interacting with the crowd. 

“It’s really fun to meet all the people,” she said. “It’s an awesome job.”

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