Cal Poly on Friday introduced Moonstar the mustang as one of the university’s mascots with a halftime video at the sold-out UC Santa Barbara soccer game.
Musty the Mustang will soon have a new partner.
The university recently adopted an additional mascot: a live mustang named Moonstar. He will be ready to become one of the university’s official mascots by the beginning of the 2014 football season, according to a Cal Poly press release.
Alumnus Robin Baggett and his wife Michelle donated the young mustang, the release said.
The Cal Poly Animal Science Department will be in charge of training the mustang for the next football season. Department head Jaymie Noland and faculty members Pete Agalos and Natalie Baker are among those involved in the training.
Moonstar was trained as a ranch horse before arriving at Cal Poly.
“We are simply exposing him to the sights and sounds of the campus and teaching him how to be comfortable in this new environment,” Noland said.
The university already has a few plans for Moonstar’s role in student athletics.
“What I envision it doing on football game day is having it lead the team onto the field,” Cal Poly Athletics Director Don Oberhelman said.
“We’d use it in a lot of things outside of football,” he added. He plans on sharing Moonstar with other sports such as soccer.
Oberhelman also envisioned having students interact with the mustang by allowing them to, “meet him, pet him and take their picture with him.”
The mustang’s name, Moonstar, came from his original owners, Oberhelman said. But the name will change — and Cal Poly students and faculty may have a role in choosing it.
“We are basically going to ask our students and our alumni to make suggestions,” Oberhelman said.
When Moonstar does take the stage next year, he will accompany, not replace, Musty the Mustang during football games.
Cal Poly announced the mascot with a video message at the Green-Blue Rivalry soccer game against UC Santa Barbara on Friday, which more than 11,000 people attended.