CLAREMORE, Okla. – Tomas Garcilazo is quite proud of who he is, from his upbringing in Mexico City to being a 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 ’13, and he will be part of the action at the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo, set for 7:45 p.m. Friday, May 22-Sunday, May 24, at Will Rogers Stampede Arena.
Garcilazo 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 three Stampede performances.
“We want to celebrate rodeo with the best acts in rodeo,” said David Petty, chairman of the volunteer committee that produces the annual rodeo. “We thought this year, coming off being named the Rodeo of the Year award, that we needed to have another award-winning act at our rodeo.
“Tomas fits that very well. His act is phenomenal, and I know the people who come to our rodeo will love what they see.”
Garcilazo is one of two featured entertainers that will be a big part of this year’s Claremore rodeo, joining funnyman John Harrison who, in 2014, won the Coors Man in the Can and the Comedy Act of the Year awards.
“When you bring someone to provide a treat, it’s nice because you contribute something to the community,” Garcilazo said. “It’s going to bring more people together.”
Rodeo is more than a competition. The stampede 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.
“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.”