July 19, 2012
The Bleacher Report, in picking the 10 best live college mascots, ranks SMU's fiesty Peruna at No. 2 in the nation.
The ranking announcement — made July 16 by columnist Carl Stine — noted the following:
Peruna is one of the most underrated little mascots in the college football universe.
He was named for a medicine popular in the early part of the last century, "Peruna Tonic" which was known for its "kick."
While one does not necessarily associate a Shetland Pony with "Mustangs," as that name evokes images of large horses running wild with flowing manes and tails, this mascot has plenty of spirit.
Legend has it that Peruna I kicked the Fordham Ram mascot, killing it.
While that was another horse from the one that is currently roaming the sidelines, SMU fans will tell you that he is still a tough little pony — just don't call him that to his face.
Among his other notable accomplishments, according to The SMU Daily Campus, he also took down Texas' mascot with one kick, and defecated at midfield of rival TCU's new field surface.
Stine writes that Peruna is among only a few in college football who are the "real deal," also including Georgia's Uga, a bulldog who had a part in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and LSU's Mike the Tiger, who can be seen in his habitat via webcam.
Peruna IX became SMU's current mascot at halftime on Oct. 15, 2011, at the SMU vs. Central Florida football game at SMU’s Ford Stadium.
Four-year-old Peruna IX had been groomed for the job since his selection as a colt. The rough-and-tumble stallion attended summer band practices to become adjusted to game noise and has been clocked galloping across the football field at a record pace. Sources say his feisty character and strong personality make him well suited for the strenuous job. He runs free at a secret location when not representing the Mustangs.
Read more about Peruna IX.
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