Every time the Denver Broncos score a touchdown at the Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado, two things always happen. First, thousands of fans surge to their feet and cheer – and second, a beautiful grey Arabian gelding named Thunder charges across the football field at a full gallop, his dark brown eyes alight with excitement and his long white tail streaming in the wind.
© The Thunder Foundation
As the Denver Broncos’ mascot, Thunder helps the crowd celebrate every goal, so when he gallops across the field, the stadium shakes with applause and wild cheers. But according to Thunder’s rider and trainer, Ann Judge of Bennett, Colorado, Thunder thinks the celebrations are all about him.
Since 1993, a grey Arabian horse has played the role of Thunder. Three different horses have portrayed Thunder over the years, including the current mascot, a 2000 Arabian gelding named Me N MyShadow. Bred and raised by owner Sharon Magness Blake of Denver, “Shadow” made his debut at the 2014 Super Bowl in New Jersey in front of a crowd of 82,000 people.
Shadow loves his job as the Denver Broncos mascot so much that he gets bored if he’s left at home – which is why that doesn’t happen very often! When he’s not at home enjoying the freedom of his paddock or schooling in the arena with his trainer, the grey Arabian tours the country in his own custom trailer with Sharon and Ann. Outfitted with heaters and air conditioning units, the "Thunder-mobile" ensures that Thunder travels in comfort, no matter the weather.
In addition to supporting his team at games and big events like the Super Bowl, Thunder’s travels take him places most horses never get to go, including schools, nonprofit organizations, nursing homes, and holiday parties. People of all ages, especially children, are always excited for the opportunity to take photos with Thunder and ask for autographs from Ann and Sharon. For some of the children, Thunder is the first horse they’ve ever met in person.
Everywhere Thunder goes, people cheer for the beautiful grey gelding!
Breyer's portrait model of Thunder was produced from 2019 to 2020.