The charro who introduced Canadians to a unique lifestyle has taken his amazing skills as a rope handler and horse trainer to the “non-rodeo” world — and won it all.
Tomas Garcilazo, a four-time winner of the PRCA Specialty Act Award, has performed multiple times in Canada, most notably at the Canadian Finals Rodeo.
Garcilazo won the $100,000 top prize on the “Go-Big Show” on TBS.
“This was an amazing experience,” said Garcilazo, who won the PRCA Specialty Act Award in 2007, 2013, 2018 and 2019 and is a mainstay at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. “It was a big challenge, and we were focused. We wanted to tell the world about how we support the Hispanic heritage and the values of family. We wanted to share what we feel and what we know with our skills, with our horses, with our passion and put it on the stage. Being on TV, besides the exposure, it was a great way to speak for our industry that I’m very proud of.”
“When I came from Mexico to the United States, I have been here over 30 years, one of my goals was to do what I’m doing – drive my truck and trailer and horses and perform what I love – and it came true.”
The final episode of the season of the “Go-Big Show” aired March 11. Garcilazo competed against three other finalists and one wild-card contestant in the finals. A total of 36 acts competed on the “Go-Big Show.”
Judges on the “Go Big Show” were Snoop Dogg, actress Rosario Dawson, country singer Jennifer Nettles and professional wrestler Cody Rhodes. The host was Bert Kreischer.
“Those judges were city people, and for example, Snoop Dogg had never been to a rodeo,” Garcilazo said. “Now, he knows the things we do, and all the judges were excited. You have to connect with different worlds to increase the faith and love of our Western heritage.”
Filming took place in Macon, Ga.
During the competition, Garcilazo did an act by himself in the first round, but in the second round he performed with his wife, Justine. The third act included the Garcilazos and their son, Louis, 6.
“The key was to connect and touch the judges with your performances,” Garcilazo said. “Snoop Dogg and Cody (Rhodes) were brought to tears with some of our performances. We were able to keep getting better.”
Garcilazo wasn’t the only PRCA athlete on the “Go-Big Show.” The specialty act of Rider Kiesner and Bethany Iles did trick riding, trick roping, gun spinning and whip cracking. Fellow PRCA trick rider Ginger Duke and bullfighter Justin Josey also competed.
“With the money I won, I’m going to build a better barn for my horses and also invest it in my son’s education and other needs,” said Garcilazo, who lives in Stephenville, Texas. “When COVID-19 hit, I only performed at one rodeo last year. We are going to be at the San Angelo (Texas) Rodeo, and we are happy and real excited to get to go there.”
The San Angelo Rodeo is scheduled for April 9-23.