The costumed Cavalier with a large character head debuted during the 1984 UVA football season and has remained the official mascot of the University of Virginia. The Cavalier performs with the UVA cheerleaders at all football and men's and women's basketball games as well as various other University related and athletic events. The Cavalier is selected from the student body through open tryouts. The mounted Cavalier made its debut in the Florida Citrus Bowl at the end of the 1989 football season. Due to its instant popularity, the Cavalier on horseback returned the following season on a regular basis and continues to lead the Virginia Cavaliers football team onto the field at the beginning of all home games.
Wahoos and Hoos
The University of Virginia's athletic teams have been known by a confusing host of different nicknames. The most prominent and widely accepted of these monikers are Cavaliers, Wahoos, and Hoos. although V-men, Virginians and Old Dominion also have been used to refer to UVA athletic teams through the years. Although the terms Cavaliers, Wahoos and Hoos are used almost interchangeably to refer to University of Virginia teams and players, Cavaliers has been adapted by the media, while Wahoos and Hoos are most commonly used by Virginia students and fans.