Monkey Act Hit At Longview Rodeo - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/18/08- Longview

Monkey Act Hit At Longview Rodeo

      Some of the best cowboys and cowgirls in the country have come for the annual Longview Rotary Club Rodeo, but an unusual specialty act may be is stealing the show.

   "It is hysterical, I mean people that don't even care about rodeo their interested and they're coming tonight" says rodeo fan Shirley Hook.

   "If you've never seen an event like that I promise you its entertaining" says Longview Rodeo chairman Kent Bryson.

     Former bullrider Tim Lepard, known as "The Wild Thang," is in town with his trained dog and monkey act ,  called "The Ghost Riders."

    "You know we try to dress them up like cowboys and sometimes the monkeys don't wear the hat but its all entertainment" says Lepard.  "When every body looks at them they say you know it didn't look real it looks like little ghosts" he says.

    For 28 years, Lepard has toured his comic rodeo of Capuchin monkeys and border collies, saying he always liked the Curious George books. His bizarre roundup has won IFR comedy act of the year, and he's appeared on both Letterman and Leno. But with each performance, he better understands the phrase "monkey business."

    "The dogs are not too bad but you'd better love the monkeys, its like 100 school kids and trying to make a picture for them, those monkeys are taking clothes off slinging them trying to pull each other off" Lepard says.

    The 18th Annual Longview Rodeo continues Saturday night at the rodeo grounds. Tickets at the gate are $10 for adults, $4 dollars for children under 12.  or 3 canned goods.  

   Bob Hallmark, Reporting 

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