The American Royal grew to include a rodeo in 1949 with the first PRCA-sanctioned rodeo being held in 1976. The American Royal Pro Rodeo was voted one of the top five rodeos in the country in 2004 and again in 2011 by the PRCA. The 2011 American Royal Pro Rodeo was also awarded the PRCA “Remuda” Award. The prestigious award, created by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 2004, is given to the organization which provides the most elite pen of rodeo stock. The American Royal joins a group of the top rodeos who have received this award. In conjunction with the rodeo, the Royal hosts some of the country’s top music entertainers and has recently presented Reba, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gary Allan and Dierks Bentley to name a few. In 1995, the Royal also began hosting an Invitational Youth Rodeo, drawing top youth competitorss from throughout the Midwest who are selected to compete through their leadership, academics, community service, and rodeo expertise.