Joanne Asman Named New Trainer For Traveler

Aug. 15, 2003

Equestrian manager Joanne Asman will assume the responsibilities of providing, training and housing Traveler, USC's fabled all-white equine mascot who is a pure Spanish Andalusian, according to an announcement on Friday (Aug. 15) by Michael L. Jackson, vice president for student affairs.

Asman takes over the reins from Patricia Saukko DeBernardi - the widow of original Traveler rider and owner Richard Saukko - who retired from the mascot program at the end of the 2002 football season.

Asman has spent over 15 years training and managing equestrian performers. As president of Asman & Associates, an entertainment and event planning company based in Burbank, CA, she has produced such equestrian events as the 'Fiesta of the Spanish Horse' and 'Burbank Celebrity Tournament of Horses' and has supplied numerous other animals for TV and film projects.

'We are very pleased to have found such a knowledgeable and dedicated equestrian manager as Joanne Asman to carry on the Traveler tradition,' said Jackson. 'With her experience and expertise as a guide, we will continue to foster a mascot program that remains an integral part of the USC football program. Joanne was recommended and introduced to us by Mrs. DeBernardi with great enthusiasm.'

The Traveler tradition originated on the streets of Pasadena in 1961, when Bob Jani '56, director of USC events, and then-USC junior Eddie Tannenbaum '62 spotted Richard Saukko at the Rose Bowl parade, saddled atop a majestic white horse named Traveler. Jani and Tannenbaum invited Saukko to ride Traveler in the Coliseum during USC football games, initiating a 42-year-old custom. USC football fans know that two rituals punctuate a home-team score: the playing of 'Conquest' by the Trojan Marching Band and the celebratory appearance of Traveler and his rider.

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