Horse Show and Rodeo American Royal Livestock

American Royal Livestock, Horse Show and Rodeo

Also known as the American Royal, or simply the Royal, this is the oldest and one of the largest livestock shows and rodeos in the United States. It dates back to the period just after the Civil War, when Texans returning from the battlefield discovered that their cattle herds had multiplied unchecked. They were forced to conduct massive roundups that reached as far west as Kansas City, Missouri, which soon became a center for the consignment of cattle. Meat packers started building plants there to accommodate the supply, and breeders began to show their stock. The National Hereford Show, held in the Kansas City Stockyards in 1899, is now considered the first American Royal. Over the years the Hereford breeders were joined by breeders of other cattle as well as sheep, swine, and poultry. Draft and carriage horses were first shown at the Royal in 1903.
Although the Royal has suffered some setbacks over the years—including a fire that nearly destroyed the American Royal Building in 1922 and a serious flood in 1951—it has continued to expand and now draws more than 300,000 visitors. Beginning in June, there are special tours and instruction for school children, 20,000 of whom come to the show to learn more about agribusiness. The main events occur in October and November. The American Royal Rodeo is the final rodeo of the season on the professional circuit, featuring over 700 professional riders and offering more than $100,000 in prize money. There are also livestock auctions, horse and livestock shows, country music concerts, barbecue competitions, and a parade through downtown Kansas City that has been called America's largest hometown parade.
American Royal
1701 American Royal Ct.
Kansas City, MO 64102
816-221-9800; fax: 816-221-8189
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.