On November 4, 1932, Peruna I made his first appearance at an SMU football game against Texas A&M University. The feisty black Shetland pony, named after a potent "medicine" of the prohibition era, was an immediate success as the ultimate embodiment of the Mustang spirit on the campus. When he was struck and killed by a car on Mockingbird Lane during a 1934 Halloween celebration, the entire University community went into mourning.
Since that time, SMU has been represented by eight Perunas, all of them, except the first being donated and cared for by the generous Culwell family. In 1992, Cully Culwell sold Peruna VII to an anonymous SMU alumnus for continued care in perpetuity.
During the early days of the Mustang Band, Peruna accompanied the organization everywhere, appearing on theater playbills as "the midget wonder horse!"
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Monday, September 15, 2008
From the SMU Band's website, the story of Peruna: