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USC's Iconic Mascot Passed Away On Thursday

USC's mascot riding on a white horse in the end zone.

LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 6: Traveler V, mascot of the USC Trojans moves through the end zone with rider Brent Dahlgren in the saddle as the USC Trojans marching band performs during halftime of the game against the BYU Cougars on September 6, 2003 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. USC defeated BYU 35-18. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The legendary mascot passed away earlier this week.

USC's football program shared some tough news this weekend. The Trojans' iconic mascot, Traveler, passed away.

Traveler VII, the horse that became USC's official on-field mascot in 2003, died on Thursday. The horse had been retired as the on-field mascot following the Rose Bowl from the 2016 season.

USC introduced Traveler IX before the 2017 season opener against Western Michigan. Traveler VIII passed away in 2013, never getting the chance to run onto the field.

The tragic news was shared by an official message on Facebook. You can read it below:

"I know how much you all loved Traveler VII, so this is very hard to have to write. It has been a rough month for the USC Mascot family.

Yesterday was a day I have been dreading. I lost my best friend, the one who knew my soul. Got me through everything good and bad for the past 23 years. I met Tuno IV when he was just a baby and we had an instant connection. He would not become mine until 4 years later. He came back into my life at a time I thought I was done with horses. I had a very bad accident that required many surgeries and recovery time and thought I would not be riding again. When I heard he was coming back to L.A., I instantly wanted to see if that connection was there. Met the Horse Van and yes it was true love.... I rode him the next day and have had him in my life since then. That was in 1996. He has literally been my soulmate since that day.

This horse was a one in a million as many of you know. He and I had a trust beyond belief. He would do anything I asked him to do and there were some real interesting ones. He was ridden by Celebrities, been on Stages with Dancers and Flags, went into Class Rooms, did photo shoots on sound sound stages and the beach. Calmed anyone who was nervous around him just by touching his nose to them. In 2003 he became the USC Mascot where he touched the lives of Millions. Everyone who met him fell in love with him. He would stand for hours letting people pet him and take their picture with him. My children even called him the Golden Child. He was the son I never had. My heart is broken as I write this. He will be missed but never forgotten. Thank you to all of you who helped make his life so precious and special to us."

The full message can be seen below. Rest in peace, Traveler.