Meet the world’s smallest cowboy. Whiplash.
The seven-pound Capuchin monkey is the star of the Franklin Rodeo. His act consists of sporting a cowboy hat and chaps, riding around on a Border Collie dog and herding sheep.
Training a monkey is a little different than training another animal.
“A horse does what you want him to do because you train them, they’re trying to please you, him, you have to convince him that what you want him to do is what he wants to do,” said Whiplash’s caretaker Kenny Petet. “They reason stuff out a lot more. He reasons out what we’re doing and why we’re doing it and he’s way smarter than a horse.”
Although it took some training for him to get the act down, he isn’t forced to do anything he doesn’t want to do. He isn’t strapped in and can hop off on his own time. According to Petet, he enjoys performing.
When he’s not in the spotlight, he’s just like any other house pet. He lives in a home with his family and has his own bedroom.
“He lives in my house like a cat, he’s trained to a litter box. My wife and I never had kids, we both rodeoed. We just never got around to it, so now we have a 4-year-old toddler that’s never going to grow up,” he said. “He has his own room that at night he just goes into his room like a kid.”
Whip is 25 years old but acts like a young child. Last Thanksgiving, he somehow got into the fridge and stole a can of whipped cream. Then, as any child would do, he sprayed it straight into his mouth.
Catch Whiplash at the Franklin rodeo this weekend at the Williamson County AG Expo. This year’s rodeo will run May 16th through the 18th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.