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October is an exciting time for Kansas City when the American Royal Livestock Show – one of the nation’s largest – kicks into gear. In addition to the famous show, the American Royal hosts the world’s largest barbecue contest, the national championship horse competition, and one of the top rodeos in the country.

Contestants gain skills in decision-making, critical thinking, oral communication, and self-confidence in addition to advancing their knowledge of the field.

The livestock show runs from October 5-22 at the American Royal Complex. It includes hundreds of events, competitions, and shows, with more than 2,000 exhibitors from 44 states showing the nation’s finest horses, cattle, hogs, sheep, and goats.

Click here to see the event schedule for this year’s American Royal Livestock Show!


The American Royal currently hosts four Livestock Judging Contests: Intercollegiate, Junior College, 4-H, and FFA.

This livestock show has a long and rich history. First held in 1899 in the historic Kansas City Stockyards, which is now the site of the American Royal Complex, it was originally called the National Hereford Show. The event grew steadily larger as more exhibitors, cowboys, ranchers, farmers, and spectators traveled to Kansas City, and more events and competitions were added. A fun fact: in 1926, the American Royal began inviting agriculture students to judge the livestock shows, and in 1928, 33 of these students gathered in the elegant Baltimore Hotel in downtown Kansas City to form the Future Farmers of America, an organization with more than half a million members today.

The American Royal is a non-profit organization. It depends on the local community and volunteers to help promote its focus on providing a platform for agricultural competition, scholarships, and education. Click here to learn more about the American Royal.

David Nigro winning Reserve Grand Champion at Kansas State Fair in 2005.

The Nigro family is very familiar with the livestock show world as David (L.D.) Nigro spent ages 9 through 20 showing market steers and show heifers in competitions around the country. According to David, three close friends of his – Luke Wood, Raymond Sproul, and John Navinsky – helped raise him on the road and taught him everything he knows about showing livestock, as well as the importance of a strong and dedicated work ethic.

“Showing livestock taught me that hard work really does pay off. I loved traveling around the country and meeting all kinds of people – and those friendships I made live on to this day. When the American Royal Livestock Show is going on, many of the friends I made at livestock shows stop by Nigro’s to catch up.”

During his time showing cattle, David took home many awards, including the Supreme Heifer title at the Kansas Junior Livestock Show 2004 in Wichita, Kansas, and the Reserve Grand Champion 2005 title at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchison, Kansas. It was at these shows that David was first introduced to Anderson Bean boots, a top choice for cowboy boots in the cattle show world. It’s the reason you can find Anderson Bean boots at Nigro’s Western Store store today!

Nigro's Western Store #1 sign

Nigro’s Western Store #1 and a pair of Anderson Bean’s.

If you’re taking a trip to Kansas City this October to enjoy the American Royal Livestock Show, be sure to make a pit stop at Nigro’s Western Store #1. Now is the perfect opportunity to check out Nigro’s Exclusive Rios of Mercedes or Anderson Bean cowboy boots – along with just about every other item you might need to upgrade your western wear wardrobe!