Senior Superstar

Stylakid Goes from PRCA Superstar with Driggers in ’23 to $71K Women’s Rodeo World Champ with Francis in ’24
Stylakid Kaleb Driggers Kenna francis
Driggers winning Big Fork, Montana, in 2022 aboard Stylakid, and Francis winning the 2024 WRWC on the same horse. | Clay Guardipee Photo; Bullstock Media Photo

When Las Vegas, New Mexico header Kenna Francis won the 2024 Women’s Rodeo World Championship and the $71,000 that went along with her week there with Whitney DeSalvo, the title came aboard a bay gelding named Stylakid who’d been around the block a time or two.

The horse known as “Gangster” let Francis take catch-shot after catch-shot all week long from the Cowtown Coliseum to AT&T Stadium—something he’s been doing his entire lengthy career, no matter who was on his back.

Where Did Stylakid Come From?

Now 19, Stylakid has quite the history. He was originally bred by Melissa Lyons of Iola, Texas. By Little Badger Kid out of the Docs Stylish Oak mare Stylalena, Stylakid entered the head-horse circle with Tyler Hogan, according to Driggers, then to Shane Anthony, who Driggers first bought the horse from.

Driggers rodeoed on him, then sold him to Jake Cooper, who sold him to Brandon Webb, who sold him again to Driggers, who sold him to Cory Kidd, who sold him back to Driggers.

Stylakid Gangster Pedigree

“It’s amazing even as many times as that horse was juggled around, he stayed true the whole time,” Driggers said. “No matter who rode him, he would score go to his spot let you rope.”

Driggers rode the horse in his record-setting 2022 season with Junior Nogueira, but when he got him back from Kidd for the last time at the end of 2023, he wanted the then 18-year-old gelding named Stylakid to get a break from the grind of ProRodeo’s all-night hauls.

“Gangster has had A LOT of owners,” Driggers said. “That’s one of the reasons why when I got done with him at 19 years old my No. 1 and only priority was that he HAD to go to a good home. That’s how he found his way to Kenna. She was needing another good horse, one that she could ride here and there for big money. He wasn’t in no way shape or form crippled or done. He had just taken all the road miles that he could take, and it wasn’t fair to him anymore. People think that I’m a little heartless because I will sell almost literally anything. I think that my style allows me to ride so many different styles of horses that it doesn’t take that one special horse, but Gangster and I clicked the second time I owned him in 2022.”

Whitney DeSalvo Kenna Francis WRWC 2024
Francis and DeSalvo prepare to rope their final steer in the Women’s Rodeo World Championship for a $60,000 payday. | Bullstock Media Photo Courtesy WRWC

“I told Chris last night when it was over that I needed to text Kaleb and tell him thank you for allowing me to own this horse, because he’s so amazing,” Francis said. “He is  by far one of the easiest horses I’ve ever ridden. He scores every single time. He never takes a throw away from you, and he never ever gets quick. He always goes to the steer, every time you ride him. So he’s never going take your rope, he’s never going duck and he’s going to score every time. To be 19 years old and to have been rodeoed on as much as he has, he is amazingly honest.”

The horse will make the occasional appearance with Kenna’s husband Chris at the ProRodeos in 2024, already having made it back to the short round on the tough muleys at Guymon (Oklahoma) Pioneer Days. But lucky for Gangster, Chris and Kenna’s production schedule of Ariat World Series of Team Ropings with Mathews Land & Cattle will let the superstar take it easy, just as Driggers intended.

—TRJ—

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