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Midnight Matador forced to retire due to injury

Midnight Matador was forced to call it a career Wednesday morning and will no longer be leading the charge with the Masked Rider for Texas Tech.

Michael C. Johnson-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Texas Tech has chosen to retire its 13-year-old horse mascot Midnight Matador due to a leg ailment that is preventing the animal from doing its trademark gallop around the field following touchdowns, according to the AP.

Midnight Matador has been the Masked Rider's partner in crime since 2002 but was wrangled in before last Saturday's game for medical reasons. Midnight Matador was instead replaced by a motorcycle but the change of plans obviously worked, because the Red Raiders upset the previously unbeaten and fifth-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers, 49-14.

The Associated Press also reports that Midnight Matador will be honored at halftime of Texas Tech's final home game against Kansas on Nov. 10. This black beauty was the 13th horse in the history of Texas Tech's Masked Rider program.

The university emphasized in its press release that Midnight Matador isn't suffering from any sort of major injury but rather just average wear and tear from aging. Texas Tech simply decided that it would be best for the horse to avoid the intense demands of the Masked Rider job for the rest of the year.

School officials are reportedly still contemplating potential replacements to step into Midnight Matador's horseshoes.

This story was originally published on SBNation.com.