Photographer Sues Over Injury by Longhorns Mascot

Andy Berg Headshot

A photographer has filed a lawsuit against the owners and handlers of the University of Texas mascot Bevo XV, alleging the longhorn steer surged from his holding pen at the 2019 Sugar Bowl and caused the photographer “permanent injury.” 

According to the filing, Austin American-Statesman photographer Nick Wagner was taking pictures of Uga X, Georgia’s bulldog mascot, prior to the Texas-Georgia game at the New Orleans Superdome. 

When Uga’s handlers brought the bulldog near to Bevo, the steer pushed forward, forcing onlookers to seek safety. Wagner “was on one knee in front of the portable railing which Bevo was behind,” according to the petition, which was obtained by USA Today. “Bevo XV rammed his longhorns twice into Plaintiff’s back causing permanent injury to Plaintiff’s neck and back.”

A number of videos of the incident were posted online. Wagner can be seen sitting on the ground near Uga when Bevo crashes into the crowd and pushes Wagner from behind. 

John and Betty Baker, Bevo’s actual owners, are the named defendants along with the Silver Spurs Alumni Association, the group assigned to Bevo’s day-to-day care. Sunrise Spur, Bevo’s XV real name, has been Texas’ mascot since the start of the 2016 season.

Wagner is seeking a jury trial with damages estimated between $200,000 and $1,000,000. Wagner alleges that the defendants failed to take the correct safety precautions, used faulty equipment and tack, and failed to post warnings of danger and intentionally exposed Bevo to Uga “knowing it would spook him.” 

The day after the Sugar Bowl, Wagner stopped at a gas station, where Bevo happened to be caged in a trailer. 

“Happened upon the big guy at a gas station in Baton Rouge on the way home today,” Wagner tweeted with a photo of him standing behind Bevo’s trailer. “No love taps from him this time, just a pleasant side eye.”

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