December 22, 2011

Peruna IX, shown sprinting with handlers Ryan Gage (left) and Chris Manthey, is the big stud on campus now. The miniature black stallion took the reins from Peruna VIII at halftime of the football game against Central Florida October 15 in Ford Stadium. Also honored at the game were current and former Peruna handlers and the Culwell family. W.E. Cullwell, owner of Culwell and Sons, donated Peruna II in 1932; since then the Culwell family has donated each pony that has served as the Mustang mascot. Four-year-old Peruna IX has been groomed for the job since his selection as a colt, attending summer band practices to become adjusted to game noise. However, 17-year-old Peruna VIII, who reigned from 1997-2011, is not being put out to pasture. In semiretirement, he will continue to make appearances on The Boulevard before home games and at other events.