Saturday (Sept. 28) was a day of firsts: Not only was it the football team’s Big Sky Conference opener, but new students stormed onto the field for the annual Running of the First-Years, the renamed UC Davis Marching Band made its debut in the stands, and a new home game tradition began.
Tatum Burris, a fourth-year animal science major and president of the Western Equestrian Club, led the football team onto the field atop her horse, Maverick.
She was dubbed “Maggie the Aggie” for the flag-bearing appearance, which she will repeat at the rest of our home games this season.
“Riding out on the field was an incredible experience,” Burris said. “It was such an honor to be able to represent UC Davis in front of so many people. We spent about a month getting the outfit and everything ready for the game day, so it was really rewarding that everything worked out so well.”
Burris, who plans to pursue a career in veterinary medicine or animal nutrition, said riding in front of a stadium full of fans requires a lot of confidence in your own skills and your horse.
“The field and noise can make the horse nervous but thankfully Maverick is pretty used to that type of environment, and overall he was very calm,” she said.
In addition to future appearances at the start of home football games, fans will be able to pose for a photo with “Maggie” and Maverick at the Oct. 12 Homecoming game against Cal Poly.
Marching band debuts
UC Davis Health Stadium was again filled with the sounds of brass, woodwinds, drums and other instruments as the UC Davis Marching Band performed for the first time this weekend.
The band, which replaces the Cal Aggie Marching Band, is led by interim assistant director Garrett Rigsby. He has served as assistant conductor for both the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance and the UC Davis Department of Music as well as assistant director at the Davis Chorale. In addition to this position, the new band coordinator has also been hired and will join the staff team in January.
In addition to marching band T-shirts and hats bearing the Campus Recreation slogan “Come as You Are,” members of the marching band wore ribbons in honor of Muriel B. Gill ’46, a longtime supporter of the marching band and other campus programs. Gill died Sept. 18, and the band dedicated its first performance to her.