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Sheriff’s Office to celebrate 25th rodeo

LaFAYETTE — The 25th annual Chambers County Sheriff’s Rodeo will be taking place this coming weekend at the Chambers County Agricultural Park, located between Highways 77 and 431 on LaFayette’s north side. There will be 7 p.m. CDT shows on Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for those between 4 and 12 years of age. It’s free to children age 3 and younger.

Friday will be Law Enforcement Appreciation Night where admission will be half price for anyone with an official ID. Saturday will be Military Appreciation Night where anyone with an official military ID will be admitted at half price.

This year’s Sheriff’s Rodeo will feature Tim “Wild Thang” Lepard and the Team Ghostriders.

A native of Pontotoc, Mississippi, Lepard is widely known for his cowboy monkeys. He has three of them, and they dress as cowboys with vests, chaps and cowboy hats. They sit in saddles and ride border collies while rounding up sheep inside rodeo arenas. The cowboy monkeys have performed at major sporting events across the U.S. They have performed for crowds at Major League Baseball games, NBA games, NFL and college football games as well as NASCAR races. His three Capuchin monkeys are named Sam, Meglynn and Little E. Sam is 28 years old and has been riding since he was two. Lepard has nicknamed him “the Duke,” because he reminds him of John Wayne.

“When he sits on the dog, he wears his hat cocked to the side like John Wayne,” Lepard said. “He’s the duke of the monkeys.”

The female of the group, Meglynn, is a sweetheart.

“She’s very petite,” Lepard said. “She touches things gently, and lets the others eat first.”

Little E is the baby of the group. He’s six years old.

“He loves everything and everybody,” Lepard said. “He has a real loving personality.”

Lepard loves his animals and follows strict USDA regulations, staying current on all health papers.

“What you put into something is what will come out,” he said. “What I put into my animals is what will come out. I put lots of time and care into their treatment. I treat them as if they were human.”

Lepard and Team Ghostriders – and, of course, the monkeys – will be entertaining crowds on Friday and Saturday nights at the Chambers County Agriculture Park.

“It’s something you shouldn’t miss,” said Sheriff Sid Lockhart. “We wanted to have something special for our 25th annual rodeo, and I think we will have it.”

Sponsors include King Ram, Chris Clark Grading & Paving, Givorns’ Foods/Mr. Ice, Trenter Bonding Company, Royal Beverage, NCIC Inmate Communications and Teague, Inc.

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