AUSTIN, Texas -- Beloved Texas mascot Bevo XIV, whose given name is Sunrise Studly, has been diagnosed with Bovine Leukemia Virus and, following a triumph in the AT&T Red River Showdown, is being retired effective immediately.
Following a preliminary diagnosis of the illness last week, which was recently confirmed by several of the state's top veterinarians and his long-time veterinarian Dr. John Tarlton, an extensive evaluation of Bevo XIV's comfort and quality of life opportunities was conducted and ultimately resulted in the decision to retire him from his role. Moving forward, he will rest comfortably on the ranch and in the company of John T. and Betty Baker, the owners and caretakers of both Bevo XIV and his predecessor Bevo XIII.
"Bevo XIV is a special animal," said Ricky Brennes, executive director of the Silver Spurs and Bevo XIV's regular travelling partner. "He truly embraced his role and loved engaging with people at games and special events, and at his ranch -- where he will continue to live -- he was clearly the leader of the herd."
The search for Bevo XV will begin immediately, and will be led by the Silver Spurs Alumni Association. It will focus on finding the same majestic qualities as previous longhorns that have worn the famous Bevo halter. The timeframe for selection and training has not yet been finalized, but it is anticipated that Bevo XV will be on the sidelines for the 2016 football season, including Thanksgiving, the 100th anniversary of Bevo's first appearance at a Texas Football game.
Bevo XIV began his tenure at the age of two in 2004, and was on the sidelines for many historic moments.
Bevo XIV was a part of back-to-back Rose Bowl victories, including the January 2006 win that resulted in the most recent Longhorns' football national championship.
In addition to his prominent position on the sidelines at Texas Football games, Bevo XIV made multiple appearances at special events, including the second inauguration of President George W. Bush.
"Bevo XIV has served as part of a great tradition, and was a rallying point for Longhorns fans," said UT President Gregory L. Fenves. "We all have warm memories of him as he heads in to retirement."
"Bevo is much more than a mascot," said Howard Nirken, a founding member of the Silver Spurs Alumni Association and former UT Student Body President. "Bevo embodies the courage and strength of our university, and brings joy to the thousands of children, fans and alumni, and stands for the same principles of our university -- winning with integrity."
The necessary funds to support the care and transport of Bevo are provided by the Silver Spurs Bevo Endowment. The endowment also funds scholarships for UT students and provides financial support for the primary charity of the Silver Spurs, the Neighborhood Longhorns Program.
Bevo XIV and the Silver Spurs have assisted in providing nearly $250,000 in the last two years to support the Neighborhood Longhorns Program, which is an educational incentive program operated in partnership with the Austin Independent School District (AISD) in 30 Title 1 elementary and middle schools.
"Bevo XIV has served the university and the Longhorns family extremely well in his tenure," said Texas Interim Men's Athletics Director Mike Perrin. "We are thrilled he heads in to retirement with a victory over Oklahoma as his last game, and look forward to welcoming Bevo XV, who will be the same strong symbol his fourteen predecessors have been since 1916."
BEVO XIV FACTS
2005 National Championship
Five consecutive bowl wins at start of tenure
Longest trip: Pasadena, California (twice)
Weight/Horn span: 2,100 lbs / 82 in.
First Bevo with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts