LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It was your typical McNeese game Saturday night in Lake Charles.
The marching band played, the skydivers flew, but there was something missing in the pre-game activities.
Instead of a horse riding out with Mystery Rider, there was a memorial slide show honoring the late Moondancer.
"I'm shocked," says Ed Jamison, a McNeese fan. "I wasn't aware that this had happened."
Fans watched the slide show in disbelief.
"I had tears in my eyes," says Patsy DeRouen, a McNeese fan. "I couldn't believe that such a beautiful animal could go that quick."
Folks in the stands recall the greatness of the horse everyone knew as Moondancer.
"It's going to leave a big hole for awhile because it brought people up in the stands cheering," says DeRouen.
Mcneese Athletic Director Tommy McClelland says this is a huge loss for the university.
"It wasn't just a horse," says McClelland. "It was part of McNeese, the McNeese family, and the McNeese tradition."
Although fans are saddened by Moondancer's passing, folks at the game say they are looking forward to a replacement that will keep the tradition going.
Moondancer 2 will take the field next season, continuing a tradition that began with a horse no one will ever forget.
"Hopefully we can continue that tradition where 30 or 50 years from we can look back and say Moondancer 1 is the horse that started it all," says McClelland.
McClelland says Moondancer 2 is currently in training to take the field next football season at McNeese.