Peanut, Make It Do, came by his nickname honestly. When he was unloaded at the Bay Meadows Track in 1966 for training, he was a scraggy two-year old, much smaller than the other Quarter Horses coming into the barn. He was owned by well-known horseman, Judd Morse, who predicted the 850 pound midget would win more races than any of his stable mates. He was a well-built colt, but was, “no bigger than a peanut,” said jockey, Jack Robinson.
Little Make It Do made do. He left the starting gate like a scared jackrabbit and won his first race easily. He kept doing that, and size never mattered. “They said this little shrimp is the best,” boasted Stan Immenschuh, the trainer who was delivering horses to the track. He was raced as a two and three year old, and won six of twenty-two starts.
The gelding was traded to rodeo cowboy Bob Barnes who turned him into a steer wrestling horse. With his quick move out of the box and speed, he was perfect for the event. He became the hazing side of CR Jones team in 1978 and moved to the other side a year later. He quickly became a star.
Aboard Peanuts, Tom Ferguson of Miami, Oklahoma, won six Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association all-around titles and three steer wrestling titles. Frank Shepperson and Bob Marshall both won world championships in steer wrestling, and C.R., Larry Ferguson, Dave Brock, Paul Tierney, Fred Larsen, Larry Dawson, Pat Nogle, Casper Schaefer, Paul Hughes and Darrel Sewell all rode the bay gelding at the National Finals Rodeo.
Peanuts the steer wrestling average at the Calgary Stampede five years in a row. Even better, he won the world championship in steer wrestling four years in a row (1976-1979). He went to the NFR every year from 1973-1980, and each year, at least five of the top 15 cowboys rode him.
He was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Pendleton Rodeo Museum in Pendleton, Oregon, the Rodeo Hall of Fame in The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and the AQHA Hall of Fame.
When Peanuts was retired in 1981, cowboys had won more than a million dollars on his back. He was turned out in a small acreage at C.R.’s home near Lakeside, California, and was euthanized April 27, 1995, at the age of 31 due to complications from a twisted gut.
Of an estimated 450 Finals runs, cowboys wrestled 225 consecutive steers from Make It Do’s back before ever missing one. I guess nobody ever told Peanut he couldn’t do it, or maybe, he just didn’t listen.