Ralphie VI’s CU Buffs debut “perfect … she’s the best buffalo in the world”

BOULDER — Ralphie VI hesitated before her historic first run at CU’s Folsom Field.

Apparently, the iconic Buffs mascot had to take care of, um, business before she took care of her pregame business.

“She was using the restroom for a second,” Ralphie program manager Taylor Stratton recalled with a laugh Friday night during the first quarter of the Buffs’ season-opener against the UNC Bears.

“She was getting ready for her big moment, and she wanted to do it in the trailer.”

From there, the star of the show didn’t disappoint.

Once she got going, the 500-pound, 16-month-old Ralphie completed her debut jaunt around Folsom without a hitch. It was the first Ralphie run in Boulder since Oct. 5, 2019, when the Buffs hosted Arizona.

The CU mascot’s predecessor, Ralphie V, retired in November 2019 after making a farewell, non-running appearance at Folsom during the Buffs’ home finale against Washington.

“This is history,” CU athletic director Rick George said as he approached the new Ralphie’s trailer a half-hour before kickoff, clapping for the team of handlers that surrounded CU’s beloved mascot. “Let’s go! It’ll be a blast!”

Ralphie VI was born at a ranch in western Nebraska on May 27, 2020. She’s also an orphan, according to a CU athletic department release, which noted that she was “raised in part by a beef cow.”

The university lists the new mascot’s weight at 500 pounds, well below the 1,300 pounds of girth Ralphie V carried at the time of her retirement.

“I think she’d like to be (at Folsom) every now and then,” Stratton’s mother, Cindi Allmendinger, said of Ralphie V. “She likes the attention. Sometimes when Taylor’s working with the little one, I’ll go over and scratch (Ralphie V’s) back.”

Stratton said Ralphie VI will be a “game-time decision” to run at Empower Field at Mile High next week when the Buffs will play their second contest of the season against No. 6 Texas A&M.

But if Week 1 served as any harbinger, CU’s newest mascot is more than ready for an even bigger stage.

“(She was) perfect,” Stratton gushed. “She’s the best buffalo in the world.”

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