DODGE CITY, Kan. – Tomas Garcilazo is quite proud of who he is, from his upbringing in Mexico City to being a new citizen of the United States.
He combines it all in one of the greatest acts in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. In fact, Garcilazo was recognized as the PRCA’s Dress Act of the Year in 2012, and he will be part of the high-throttle action at the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo, set for 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 31-Sunday, Aug. 4, at Roundup Arena.
“I really want to thank the committee in Dodge City for bringing me in,” said Garcilazo, who recognizes the southwest Kansas community has a strong Hispanic presence. “So many Mexican people don’t get to go back to Mexico, so the committee is bringing so much of our culture back to these people.
“But we have something for everyone to enjoy.”
Garcilazo certainly does, and so do fans all across the country. You see, he is a charro and carries on the family heritage of La Charreria, a skill performed through the generations only by the Mexican charro. As did his elders, Garcilazo takes pride in his horsemanship and roping skills, which will be on display during each of the five performances of Roundup Rodeo.
“We are very proud of our rodeo and every person that makes up our community, and those are two reasons we wanted Tomas in Dodge City,” said Dr. R.C. Trotter, chairman of volunteer committee that produces the annual rodeo. “We recognize we have a vibrant Hispanic community, and Tomas shares a great piece of the Mexican legacy with them. But he’s the best specialty act in rodeo because he’s so talented and reaches so many people.
“We’re truly blessed to have Tomas coming to Dodge City.”
The feeling is reciprocated.
“This is going to be my first time in Dodge City,” Garcilazo said. “When you bring someone to provide a treat, it’s nice because you contribute something to the community. It’s going to bring more people together.”
Rodeo is more than a competition. Sure, Roundup Rodeo will feature the very best in the sport, from numerous world champions in every event to the very best animal athletes in the game. But it’s also an action-packed couple of hours of entertainment. To help make a rodeo even more entertaining, specialty acts provide theatrics to the competition. Garcilazo is the best at what he does, and the members of the PRCA decided that last December.
“It’s an honor because specialty acts are so competitive,” he said. “I’m very flattered that what I do as a charro and representing my culture and my tradition with my horses and myself has been recognized with those contractors, committees and contestants that are part of the PRCA.
“I emphasize the tradition a lot. The heritage is very strong. For me, it is big that those are being carried on in modern day and that it is a privilege for me to keep up with this way of life. Cattle, horses and roping were all involved in my childhood.”
Those lessons learned decades ago are still vibrant in his mind. That’s why he continues to entertain and show the world his talents.
“On my mother’s side, they are all churros,” Garcilazo said. “I grew up competing all my life. I picked my skill with a rope and had a vision to develop this with the horses.
“It’s a way of developing my dream. My rope, as a child, was a toy. Now I develop the artistry with a rope in such an extensive way. It takes time, effort, patience and the (willingness to) develop all the desires to succeed in horse and roping skills.”
It is Garcilazo’s passion to share his talent – and his heritage – with the world.
“Being in the entertainment business, you get to see the different traditions and different people from different personalities,” he said. “When you develop something with passion with your heart and express this on stage, it shows. When I see a performer, when they do these with their heart, it shows right away. I have a lot of passion for what I do, and I hope everyone sees that.”