Don't Worry, SMU Mustangs: They Ain't Puttin' Peruna Out to Pasture After All

A couple of weeks back, during halftime of the SMU-Navy game at Ford Stadium, the university debuted two new mustangs donated by the National Wild Horse Foundation, on behalf of Madeleine and T. Boone Pickens. Which had more than a few folks wondering: What in the wide, wide world of sports did the university intended to do with 'em? Replace Peruna, the shetland pony that's roamed the sidelines since 1932? Heresy!

Which prompted much handwringing amongst university officials, among them SMU football head coach June Jones, who, according to one source, really wanted those Mustangs used  "in some fashion" during games. And so, late into Wednesday, members of the SMU Student Senate, school staffers, members of the football team (including team captain Chase Kennemer) and Peruna's handler met to discuss, well, how to handle the horses.

The matter's been settled, per the official release from SMU that ran down the field a little while ago: When SMU plays Rice tomorrow at 2 p.m. during homecoming...

... the new horses will lead the team from the Mustangs statue at the north end of Mustang Plaza, passing through Doak Walker Plaza, and proceeding to Gerald J. Ford Stadium before each of SMU's three remaining home games.

Peruna, the Mustangs' official mascot, will then fulfill his generations-long tradition of leading the team from the locker room and onto the field. He also will continue to run across the field after SMU scores and will always be positioned at the end of the field to which the SMU offense is headed.

While Peruna handles his normal responsibilities, the mustangs will remain at Ford Stadium near the field's southwest corner.
Bevo is amused.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky