Horseback Riding

He Made It Do

January 24, 2011

Size was no hindrance to this “Little Peanut.”

The articles in “Family Tree” are compilations of stories that have appeared over the years in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Of an estimated 450 Finals runs, cowboys wrestled 225 consecutive steers from Make It Do's back before ever missing one. AQHA file photo

When he was unloaded at Bay Meadows Race Track for training in 1966, the scrawny 2-year-old didn’t look like much compared to the other Quarter Horses coming off the trailer.

“They said this little shrimp is the best,” boasted Stan Immenschuh, the trainer who was delivering horses to the track.

The grooms walked away, “probably to flip a coin to see who didn’t have to take care of the pony,” Stan thought to himself.

Within two weeks, though, they all found out that the little horse, Make It Do, might just do. He left the starting gate like a scared jackrabbit and won his first race handily. “Peanuts” just kept on leaving the gate and winning, race after race. Size never held him back.

Stan Immenschuh knew his own mind, but his favorite thing was working on the minds of horses. Get the full, colorful story of Stan and his adventures with Quarter Horses in AQHA’s FREE report, Stan Immenschuh: All-Around Hand.

Sired by Breeze Bar and out of Camelot Broom, Peanuts’ nickname traced to jockey Jack Robinson, who dubbed the gelding “Goober” and said the lightweight runner was “no bigger than a peanut.”

Well-known horseman Judd Morse owned Peanuts at the time. He and Stan’s wife, LaRae, said the 850-pound midget would win more races than any of the others. Stan thought they were putting him on. Everything was sure in the right places, but Peanuts looked like a Shetland alongside his stablemates, Stan said in The American Quarter Horse Journal in 1996.

In his short racing career, Peanuts won six of 22 starts on racetracks in California as a 2- and 3-year-old, and earned a total of $5,792.

Roll It!

Make It Do “Peanuts” was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2009.

However, when Peanuts was 3, he started to grow and change into a horse big enough to carry a stout cowboy. When the gelding developed an ankle problem, he was traded to rodeo cowboy Bob Barnes. Exceptionally quick out of the gate and taught to run, Peanuts fulfilled the primary requirements for a good steer wrestling horse, according to an article written about the horse in 1978. And that’s just what he did. Peanuts became the hazing horse in C.R. Jones’ team. After about a year, the little horse moved to the other side of the chute.

What he lacked at the racetrack, the little gelding more than made up for in the rodeo arena. 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 won the PRCA world championship in steer wrestling four years in a row (1976-1979), and won the steer wrestling average at the Calgary Stampede five years in a row. He went to the NFR every year from 1973-1980, and each year, at least five of the top 15 cowboys swung a leg over his back, according to the horse’s obituary.

A true horseman, Stan Immenschuh’s experience spans many decades over several disciplines. Get the full story on this all-around hand with a passion for Quarter Horses in AQHA’s FREE Report, Stan Immenschuh: All-Around Hand.

In 1977, the first year that a trophy was awarded to the season’s best steer wrestling horse by vote of the top 30 money winners in the event, the choice was Peanuts.

When C.R. retired Peanuts in 1981, more than $1 million had been earned on the gelding’s back. He was turned out in a small acreage at C.R.’s home near Lakeside, California.

The gelding 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, in 2009, the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

Peanuts was euthanized April 27, 1995, at the age of 31 due to complications from a twisted gut.

AQHA On-Site Services
AQHA will provide a variety of on-site services during 2011 Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo. So, take a ride to Rapid City and visit AQHA on-site services at booth #36 & 37 in LaCroix Hall to catch up on your AQHA business. You can:

  • Purchase or renew a membership and get a FREE gift
  • Purchase or renew a Journal subscription at a discounted price
  • Transfer a horse, no matter how many owners, for only $15 per horse*
  • Bring your registration papers for expedited service and discounted prices on horses 3 years and older
  • Look up records on your horse and receive a FREE print out

For more information on Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo click here.