POPLARVILLE, MS (WLOX) - A fifth generation horseman from Poplarville and his 9-year-old Paso Fino stallion, Tito, are taking social media by storm. Michael Gascon, owner of Gascon Horsemanship, posted a video of himself riding Tito in a T-rex costume Tuesday morning.
Gascon says it only took about 20 minutes to make a video for his Facebook page that features several skills, including soccer dribbling. In 24 hours, the video raked in two million views.
Gascon's goal was to make a viral video to promote what he says is the smoothest natural riding horse in the world. He says he's also trying to get more social media followers to be able to complete next March in the huge national competition Road to the Horse in Kentucky.
"I just kept working at it and working at it and finally yesterday, one hit and took fire," Gascon said. "And I think everybody can really relate to it because of the dinosaur and anybody can like it even if you're not a horse fan, and I think that's why this one caught fire."
Gascon says Tito is no stranger to fame. The stallion starred alongside actor Luke Perry in the movie "A Fine Step," and Gascon served as Perry's stunt double. Tito is also a national grand champion show horse.
"He's the most beautiful Paso I've ever seen, and he's just a character," said Gascon.
Gascon, 26, says his family's Poplarville ranch has been in the location for more than 20 years, and he took over ownership about three years ago. The family bought Tito in Ocala, Fla, six years ago, and have been working with him ever since. Gascon claims the Paso Fino is the smoothest riding horse in the world.
His father, Jamie Gascon, says he's proud of his son.
"I knew it would get big but not that fast. That tells you that people are hungry for stuff that you don't see every day," said Jamie.
Gascon is also preparing to be on national TV with Mustang Maria for the Extreme Mustang Makeover in May.
"I set out to do something that people said couldn't be done," he said. "People said you can't make a viral video riding on a Paso, you can't come out of Poplarville and get famous doing this, you know, cowboys are from Texas, you can't be from Mississippi and be famous."