By Debbie Emery – Radar Reporter
Bull riders and barrel racers have nothing on this little guy, as the smallest cowboy in the arena stole the show yet again at a Reno, Nevada rodeo last weekend, and RadarOnline.com video of the champ in action.
Whiplash the Capuchin monkey and his loyal Border Collie, Bud, have been wowing crowds on the rodeo circuit for years, and at 27, he’s older than many of the human riders on their bucking broncos touring the Southwest.
Dressed in full rodeo gear including a cowboy hat, chaps and a skinny tie, the monkey keeps his hound on a tight rein as he wheels around the arena rounding up sheep and rearing dramatically.
“The sheepdogs know their place and he curses them if they are not doing what he says,” said owner and trainer Tommy Lucia, according to the MailOnline.
“He’s got such a strong will you never quite know what he’s going to do – there’s always a surprise. But he’s a natural in the saddle.
“When he’s done for the day he goes to our motor home for dinner. His favourite foods are pears, apples, bananas and especially strawberries.”
While some people may think it is cruel to make animals perform, Lucia is fast to shoot down any allegations of animal abuse, telling critics, “I rescued him from a stinking cage in Florida when he was just a baby and I can assure you he’d let me know if life wasn’t good.”
On his website WhiplashRides.com, the monkey is compared to heroes of the wild west such as Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger.
“He is at home in the saddle. He has the pride, attitude and style found among those pioneers of the old west. His riding skill is unchallenged, pulling the saddle from side to side and exhibiting riding expertise by hanging off one side mimicking a classic Indian hideaway,” reads his impressive bio.
The cowboy has a stable of three loyal steeds – Ben, Bud and Toby – who are all Border Collies bred in Scotland and Wales with the natural instinct to herd.