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The Mustang Mascot

Cal Poly Introduces Live Mustang Mascot

Oct 25, 2013
By Larry Peña

Cal Poly has a new mascot in training – a live mustang that will represent the school at various university events. The university introduced the mascot in a video shown at halftime of Friday night’s men’s soccer match against one of the school’s fiercest rivals, the UCSB Gauchos.

Faculty and students in Cal Poly’s animal science program have begun working with the mustang, a gelding named Moonstar, to prepare him for live appearances on campus and at Mustang Athletics games. The horse’s official debut is planned for the beginning of the 2014 football season.

The live mascot is intended to supplement, not replace, Musty, the costumed character that has served the university as a spirit symbol for years.

The mustang was a gift from alumnus Robin Baggett (Business ’73) and his wife, Michelle. The couple donated the horse for the purpose of boosting school spirit on campus.

“We’ve never really had a mustang mascot, and horses have been on this campus since Day One,” said Baggett. “We’re proud to have given him to Cal Poly. It’s going to be very special.”

The mustang will be more than a mascot, however. The university is developing plans to acquire several additional mustangs to share mascot duties and to select a team of outstanding students to train and care for the mustangs, plan their appearances, and serve as ambassadors for Cal Poly.

“Over and above the idea of developing school spirit, he can play an integral role in our hands-on, Learn by Doing program,” said Animal Science Department Head Jaymie Noland, who will lead the new program. “The students at the horse unit are already very excited about him.”

While Cal Poly has always had a robust equine program and herds of horses living on campus, this is the first time that the university has kept one specifically to serve as a mascot. This is also currently the university’s only mustang – a distinctly hardy type of horse descended from the animals brought to the Americas by early European settlers.

“Robin and Michelle Baggett’s sense of school spirit is another wonderful example of how generous and intensely loyal our alumni are,” said President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “I’ve always thought that Cal Poly chose a perfect mascot, because mustangs are living symbols of the spirit of the West. Best of all, our students will have another great learning experience, and Moonstar will be in good hands, treated well and with appropriate respect.”

Video: Introducing the Cal Poly Mustang

Recent Cal Poly grad Matt Yoon (JOUR ’13) filmed and edited the teaser video for Cal Poly’s new Mustang Mascot Program. Yoon has worked extensively to produce videos for Mustang Athletics, and created President Jeffrey D. Armstrong's recent video response to a lost challenge with Fresno State University.

The mustang video’s musical score was composed by Ryan Waczek, a fourth year music major at Cal Poly. He recorded the song at his in-home studio, using a high-quality orchestral digital library to build the music note-by-note.

Video: Giving the Mustang

Robin and Michelle Baggett discuss their gift of the new mustang and why they continue to support Cal Poly.

Check back at this page for more videos about the Mustang Mascot Program.