Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey will be in town to entertain during each night of the Original Will Rogers Memorial Rodeo in Vinita.

VINITA – When the Original Will Rogers Memorial Rodeo returns to Vinita, it will have one of the fans’ most favorite acts with it!

Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey will be in town to entertain during each night of the rodeo Aug. 22-25.

Whiplash will don cowboy clothes: chaps, a shirt and leggings and a custom made cowboy hat. Then he rides his mount, a border collie, as they round up the sheep in the rodeo arena.

Whiplash, who is owned by Kenny Petet, lives in Stephenville, Texas. The Capuchin monkey has been doing the act his entire life.

He loves his job, Petet said. “He gets wound up when it’s time to go,” he said. “He knows the rhythm. When I’m changing into my dress clothes, he knows the rodeo music, and he can always hear it, because we park close to the arena. He’ll crawl up on my lap, and put his arms out so I can put his shirt on.”

Whiplash is so special, he’s had two children’s books written about him, both written by Petet. The books are based on the premise that Whiplash is always the hero, with his nemesis as the coyote gang. The first book is Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey Saves the Day. The second book will be released later this year.

When he’s not on the rodeo road, Whiplash lives with Petet and his wife Nicole. He’s intelligent, Petet said. “You have to toddler-proof the house. If he can get into something, he will.” He eats human food. “If it’s good for you, it’s good for him,” he said. Petet feeds him grilled chicken and fish, and grapes, among other things. Whiplash, like most humans, loves junk food like onion rings, French fries and cake, but Petet limits his intake. Petet notes that capuchin monkeys live up to 35 years in the world but 45 years with quality veterinarian care. Whiplash is 25 years old, and lives close to the nation’s best primate veterinarian, who helps keep him in top health.

Whiplash’s motto is “There’s one Will Rogers, there’s one John Wayne, and there’s one Whiplash.”

Whiplash will entertain during each night of the rodeo, which runs Aug. 22-25. Performances start at 8 pm each night. Tickets can be purchased by calling 918.244.0265 or in person at the Holiday Inn Express in Vinita from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays and Fridays.

Tickets can also be purchased at the gate. Chute seats are $16, box seats are $14 and general admission tickets are $12. Children from 6-12 years of age are $5 with a paying adult. For the Friday, Aug. 24 night of rodeo, children 12 years and younger are free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

For more information, visit www.WillRogersMemorialRodeo.com.