Indiana State Fair: Horses, and Bulls, and Monkeys, Oh My!
A monkey riding a dog gallops into an arena.
It sounds like the beginning to a painfully cheesy joke, but fortunately for fairgoers watching the World's Toughest Rodeo, it's actually a reality.
The monkey's name is Whiplash. The dog, a border collie, answers to the fittingly ridiculous moniker of Boogie. Together the act has appeared at circuit rodeos and major-league baseball games and entertained dignitaries including the Prince of Dubai and George Bush.
Boogie hails from Scotland. It costs $15,000 and one Whiplash-sized Mickey Mouse doll to properly train the canine component of the famous duo. But perhaps because of his tiny cowboy duds, most fans focus on Whiplash.
“There is only one Whiplash,” said Kenny Petet, Whiplash's handler. “There was only one Roy Rogers, Augustus McCall—one Lonesome Dove. That's what makes him so unique.”
In between shows, the furry 6-pound monkey celebrity sits in his trailer and watches “Sons of Anarchy” or “Avatar”—anything eye catching and loud.
“It's like having a 3-year-old toddler that never grows up,” Petet said.
Alan Hovorka contributed to this article.
Danielle Grady is a writer for BSU Journalism at the Fair, a Ball State University immersive-learning project placing 25 student journalists at the heart of the Midway to tell the weird and wonderful stories of the 2014 Indiana State Fair.