Charros and rodeos |

Charros and rodeos

Traditional Mexican Charro act to perform during Buffalo Bill Rodeo

NORTH PLATTE — Tomas Garcilazo will bring the Mexican art of La Charreria to the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte.

Garcilazo was born and raised near Mexico City and as a child learned the rope work and horsemanship that comes with the family heritage.

La Charreria is the official national sport of Mexico and, for Garcilazo, exhibits his skills aboard a horse.

On his beautiful mount, he does sliding stops, spins, turns, reining, side passes, all in Mexican style, choreographed to music. Garcilazo makes it look effortless, betraying how much time he has put into his life’s work.

While he performs, he wears the traditional Charreria attire, proud to represent his culture through his outfits and skills.

During his routine, he incorporates fancy roping, standing on his horse and jumping through his rope, like the Texas Skip, and finishing his act with the Wedding Ring, a big loop rope trick with 70 feet of rope spinning around him and his horse as they walk around the arena.

Garcilazo grew up with a rope in his hands. “I didn’t have many toys,” he said. “My toy was my rope.” He competed in bull riding and roping at Mexican rodeos and moved to the U.S. when he was 22 years old. Since then, he’s spent two years on tour with the Will Rogers Follies, a six-time Tony Award winning show, performing in 48 states and two countries and twice in the White House. He’s been a featured performer at Disney’s Wild West Show in Paris for three years and performed at several horses shows in Holland, Germany and Italy. He’s performed for numerous Mexico presidents and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.


While in Paris, he met his wife, Justine, who is French. She and their 7-year-old son Louis are part of Tomas’ show. Louis rides his pony and does some rope tricks, while Justine rides an Andalusian horse while wearing a beautiful dress. Louis, at the age of 7, knows three languages: English, Spanish and French.

Garcilazo, a four-time PRCA Dress Act of the Year Award winner, has performed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 22 consecutive years: from 1997 to the current year. He’s one of the few rodeo acts who has worked the rodeo so many years in a row, because he’s a fan favorite and a professional at what he does. Tomas and his family won the TBS Show Go Big contest in March, winning $100,000.

He is a third generation Charro, devoting his life to sharing Mexico’s National Sport La Charreria with the world. He and his family live in Stephenville, Texas.

He loves what he does, and it comes through to rodeo fans around the world, who see it through his relationship with his horse and skills with a rope. “I’m passionate about what I do.”

Garcilazo will perform during each night of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo June 16-19. The rodeo starts at 8 p.m. each night at the Wild West Arena in North Platte.

Tickets for the rodeo can be purchased at the NebraskalandDays office, online at, and at the gate. For more information, visit the website or call the office at 308-532-7939.


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