Iron Rebel
Iron Rebel
Sire: Rebel Cause | Dam:  Iron Maiden

AQHA Champion
AQHA Superior Western Pleasure Horse
Sire of earners of over 7900 points, 95 ROM's and 37 Superiors.


Iron Rebel
Article by Larry Thornton

Iron RebelThe role of the race horse in the breeding of performance Quarter Horses is a well documented phase of our industry. Three Bars was a race horse. Leo was a race horse. Even King P-234 was reported to have had two starts on the track before he became a noted roping horse. (He won both starts.) These stallions have had a major impact in virtually every performance category. They are foundation sires in the modern Quarter Horse.

The speed these great horses have infused into the performance Quarter Horse is a key ingredient in their contribution. The speed to catch a calf, turn a wildcow, run the barrels or the poles are examples of how speed is important to the versatility of the Quarter Horse.

One of the major speed bloodlines in modern Quarter Horse racing originated with Top Deck. Top Deck was bred on the King Ranch and through this great sire we have gotten such famous running horses as Go Man Go, Moon Deck, Jet Deck, Top Moon, Flaming Jet, Easy Jet and Rebel Cause.

This installment of "The Working Lines" will give us a little different look at Top Deck. We're not going to concentrate on Top Deck the sire of race horses, but on one of Top Deck's performance lines. We are going to look at Iron Rebel, a performance horse sire. Iron Rebel is sired by Rebel Cause, a son of Top Deck.

Stan and Mary Kay Skeyskal are the long time owners of Iron Rebel. The Steyskals are best known in the Quarter Horse industry for standing the great stallion Tiger Leo. Tiger Leo was a great sire of performers and is leaving a legacy as a sire of good broodmares.

Mary Kay recently recalled the first time she saw Iron Rebel. "One day I went to Sycamore Farms here in Omaha. We went out to look at their broodmares. Iron Maiden was in the pasture and Iron Rebel was the colt on her side. He was really pretty. He had a kind of iridescent coat, a real shiny coat. So did the mare, they were like a picture by themselves amidst all those horses. I really liked him."

"I tried to get Walt Chamberlain to buy him. Walt was the man that owned Tiger Leo at the time. We didn't have the money and I couldn't get anyone to buy him. So Sycamore Farms kept him," added Mary Kay. Sadly, Iron Maiden died a short time after Mary Kay saw Iron Rebel for the first time. Iron Rebel was raised as an orphan. Sycamore Farms raised Iron Rebel to be a race horse.

Mary Kay continues her story, "I followed Iron Rebel and he went to the race track as a two year old. He ran something like a 79 speed index. Nothing real fast. I kept track of him and when I went to Sycamore Farms one day, they said Iron Rebel was coming home the nest day. So I called Mr. Pentzien that night and asked if Iron Rebel was for sale. He said he was and he quoted me a price. I went to Sycamore Farms the next morning. I was out there at 6 or 6:30 in the morning. He still looked good to me, so I called Stan to come and take a look at him. He liked what he saw, so we called the vet. Iron Rebel was in our barn by noon".

The Steyskals started Iron Rebel in the show ring, putting some points on him. Iron Rebel placed high in the Nebraska Pleasure Futurity. Then the Steyskals sold Iron Rebel to Herb Jekel. Jekel turned the horse over to Dale McDavitt to show. Iron Rebel became the High Point Pleasure Horse in Illinois.

While Jekel owned Iron Rebel, his show record included a second at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Junior Western Pleasure. The outing at the Congress was a competition against some 300 pleasure horses. It took six cuts to see all the contestants and come up with a group of finalists.

While the Steyskals owned Iron Rebel, they had the opportunity to breed some mares to the young stallion. This first crop of foals included Son Of A Rebel and Kitten Cause. Both of these foals went on to be good show babies. So when Iron Rebel became available for sale, the Steyskals brought him back to Nebraska.

When Iron Rebel completed his show career, he was an AQHA Champion with 158 points in five events. He earned a Superior in Western Pleasure with 127 points, 24 halter points, 3 heading points, 3 heeling points and 1 reining point. His show record includes a circuit championship at the Florida Gold Coast in Senior Western Pleasure. He was the Reserve Champion Three Year Old Halter Stallion in Nebraska. It didn't take Iron Rebel long to earn his roping points. Veterinarian Jerry Bailey and Iron Rebel earned the points in one weekend in Kansas City. They consistently won or placed in the heading and heeling.

One of the things that Stan and Mary Kay were thankful for was the fact that Iron Rebel didn't prove to be a great race horse. But his pedigree sure indicated that speed should not have been a problem. Rebel Cause, the sire of Iron Rebel, was a champion on the track. He was the 1961 Co-Champion Three Year Old Quarter Running Horse and the Champion Aged Quarter Running Stallion in 1962. His race record included 13 wins, 11 seconds, 5 thirds in 35 starts. He won such stakes as the Juvenile Championship. Ruidoso Derby and the Pacific Quarter Horse Association Derby. His earnings were $85,586.

Rebel Cause is remembered in Quarter Horse racing for his racing duals with Tonto Bars Hank. Rebel Cause and Tonto Bars Hank met seven times as three year olds. Tonto Bars Hank won five of the races, but they were still named Co-Champions for the year. Rebel Cause became a noted sire of running horses. His foals earned in excess of $2.7 million on the track. He sired 355 Register of Merit running horses. His runners include Turf's Best, a multiple running champion; My Flight Plan, winner of over $109,000; Rebel Kiloqua, a stakes winner of over $100,000; Geeper Creeper, stakes winner of over $77,000 and Rebel Della, stakes winner of over $74,000. Rebel Cause has a limited but solid record as a sire of show horses. He was the sire of 12 Register of Merit show horses and 3 AQHA Champions. He sired two Superior Performance horses in Mighty Michelle and Iron Rebel. His AQHA Champions include Rebel Kitten, Rebel Rocket and Iron Rebel.

The performance contribution of Rebel Cause is enhanced by his son Top Rebel. Top Rebel is an AA rated race horse with two halter points and ten performance points. He is the sire of Miss Bar Top Reb, a six time AJQHA World Show finalist in Barrel Racing, Calf Roping, Heeling, pole Bending and Stake Racing; Grey Powder, a World Show finalist in Senior Hunter Under Saddle; and Cut The Deal, a Superior Pleasure Horse. Top Rebel is the sire of Miss Rebel Rita, a good performer with 49 pleasure points, 9 hunter under saddle points and 7 amateur western pleasure points. She is the dam of several good foals, including Investment Asset, a Reserve World champion Junior Western Pleasure Horse and the up and coming sire Good Asset.

Top Deck was the sire of Rebel Cause. Top Deck has a most interesting story. He was bred on the King Ranch. His story begins with a thoroughbred named Chicaro, a famous sire of Quarter Horses that stood for a number of years on the King Ranch. Chicaro has been credited with putting the King Ranch into the thoroughbred business. As the story goes, Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. was on a horse buying trip to the ranch of John Dial. Klegerg had gone to the Dial Ranch to look at some daughters of Little Joe they wanted as broodmares for Old Sorrel.

Bob Denhardt stated in his book, The King Ranch Quarter Horses, that Kleberg bought Chicaro more for his conformation than his speed. He states, "Chicaro was strong where Quarter Horses were weak. He was refined, with a beautiful back and withers and a good shoulder. He was not leggy, but rather compact and very heavily muscled, like a Quarter Horse." According to Denhardt, when Kleberg got Chicaro home, he started studying thoroughbred bloodlines. This is considered the start of the successful King Ranch thoroughbred breeding program. The King Ranch bought Chicaro in 1934. The King Ranch went on to breed such horses as Assault, winner of the thoroughbred triple crown in 1946, just 12 years after the purchase of Chicaro.

Chicaro was not only a good sire on the King Ranch, but a very big contributor of good horses before he got to the ranch. His foals include the stallions Chicaro Bill and flying Bob. Many Quarter Horse historians consider Flying Bob the leading sire of running Quarter Horses until Three Bars came on the scene. Flying bob was the sire of running champions Queenie and Dee Dee. Chicaro Bill was a very good sire that is seen in such breeding programs as the Vessels Stallion Farm and Ronald Mason's breeding program in Oklahoma. Ronald Mason stood stallions like Oklahoma Star and Beggar Boy. Chicaro Bill was the broodmare sire of Triple Chick, Three Chicks and The Ole Man, to name just a few. Chicaro was sired by an imported horse named Chicle, Chicle was sired by Spearmint. The dam of Chicle was Lady Hamburg of Hamburg.

The dam of Chicaro was Wendy by Peter Pan by Commando by Domino. The dam of Wendy was Remembrance by Broomstick. When Chicaro was bred to a mare named Last Boat, they got River Boat. The sire of Last Boat was Sir Gallahad III by Teddy. Plucky Liege was the dam of Sir Gallahad III. Spearmint was the sire of Chicle. This makes River Boat 3 x 4 linebred to Spearmint.

The dam of Last Boat was Taps by Man O' War. The dam of Taps was Shady by Broomstick. The King Ranch crossed River Boat with a stallion named Equestrian to produce Top Deck. Equestrian was sired by Equipoise by Pennant by Peter Pan by Commando. This makes Top Deck 4 x 4 Peter Pan. The dam of Equestrian was Frilette by Man O' War. This makes Top Deck 3 x 4 linebred to Man O' War.

The dam of Frilette was Frillery by Broomstick. The four crosses to Broomstick in Top Deck's pedigree give him a 4 x 4 x 5 x 5 linebreeding pattern. The multiple crosses to such stallions as Peter Pan, Broomstick and Man O' War make Top Deck a very interesting individual. What makes Top Deck's contrigution even more interesting is the fact that he never officially raced.

Several stories have been reported on why top Deck never raced. They include an injury incurred when a mare kicked Top Deck as a foal. He sustained the injury in the knee. This version of the story was told by Bob Gray in "The Story of Top Deck" (Horseman,December 1967).

Another version of the story appeared in Scott Wells' story "In The Tradition of Greatness", (Speedhorse,November 1979). This version tells us that Top Deck was in training waiting to go to the East Coast to start his race career. He reportedly ran an eighth of a mile in: 12.2 (1/10 of a second off the world record). But his race career was cut short when he foundered. Needless to say, Top Deck never raced and Kleberg turned the horse over to a trainer named Ernest Lane. Lane used Top Deck as a breeding stallion. A South Texas Rancher named J.B. Ferguson started using Top Deck as a stallion. He eventually bought the horse.

It was through Ferguson that Top Deck started his great sire record. Ferguson had gone to Louisiana to buy some running bred mares. When these mares were bred to Top Deck, the results were very gratifying. These mares included the dams of Go Man Go and Moon Deck. Top Deck died in 1965 of a kidney infection. He was the sire of 214 Register of Merit running horses with earnings of over $1.6 million. He sired 23 states winners including Go Man Go (three time World Champion Quarter Running Horse); Mood Deck; Top Ladybug; Stardeck F; and Rebel Cause. Top deck was not noted as a sire of performance horses, but his foals include two AQHA Supreme Champions. They are Astro Deck and War Machine.

The dam of Rebel Cause was Bankette. Bankette was an unraced daughter of Worry F Man. Worry Man was sired by Red man, a son of Joe Hancock. The dam of Bankette was Miss Bank. Miss Bank was a great running machine that won 27 races, including the Tucson Speed Stakes. Her sire was Captain's Courageous by Stimulus. Captain's Courageous was the sire of Rey. Rey was the sire of the dam of Sugar Bars. The dam of Miss Bank was Apron Strings by a horse named Brown Joe.

The produce records of Bankette and Miss Bank indicate a background in the running horse industry. Bankette was the dam of six racing Register of Merit. They include Rebel's Sis and Topette, both by Top Deck and Miss Vanny, a stakes winning daughter of Vanny Bar. Miss Bank was the dam of three Register of Merit runners. Her ROM runners were Desertette, Fantasy and Lightning Bank.

The dam of Iron Rebel was Iron Maiden. Iron Maidenwas an AAAT/AQHA Champion. She was a stakes winner of 13 races and $10,378 in earnings. She earned 23 halter points. The sire of Iron Maiden was Iron Bars by Three Bars. The dam of Iron Bars was War Hug by Bear Hug. Iron Bars was the sire of several AQHA Champions including Hello Bars, Iron Dog, Iron Maiden and Iron's Bertie. Iron Bars was the sire of several Register of Merit runners including Bars Of Iron, Becky Iron, Cobe's Bar, Cobe's Bar Man and Creeco Bars. Bars Of Iron is the broodmare sire of the good pleasure sire Cash Invester.

Iron Maiden was out of Lue Kirk, Lue Kirk was sired by Jack D by a thoroughbred named Kentucky Cardinal. The dam of Lue Kirk was a mare named Babe Lux. Babe Lux was sired by a stallion named Bubbling Over. Lue Kirk was the dam of Miss Lou Dandy by My Texas Dandy Jr. Miss Lou Dandy was the dam of Miss Louton by Tonto Bar Gill. Miss Louton was the Champion Quarter Running Two Year Old Filly in 1958 and Champion Quarter Running Three Year Old Filly and the overall Champion Mare in 1959. She earned over $74,000 on the track.

An interesting side note. Tonto Bars Gill was the sire of Tonto Bars Hank, the racing nemesis of Rebel Cause. Stan and Mary Kay's original intent was to find a stallion that would compliment Tiger Leo. That meant that Iron Rebel would be crossed with Tiger Leo daughters. When asked - How does Iron Rebel compliment Tiger Leo? Mary Kay responded, "He is real pretty headed, with a short ear. His head is short from the eye to the nose. He is real pretty headed, with a short ear. His head is short from the eye to the nose. He is a real breedy horse that is well conformed, real short in the back, deep in the heart and long necked. He's not a heavy muscled horse, you would call him a middle of the road type of horse. A long muscled horse that is long in the hip from the side and not a real bulgy horse from behind."

Stan and Mary Kay went on to explain that everyone sees Iron Rebel as a pretty horse. They feel that the true horseman would appreciate Tiger Leo, but that everyone thought Iron Rebel was pretty. One of the first Tiger Leo mares bred to Iron Rebel was Connie's Kitten. This early mating resulted in the show mare Kitten Cause. Kitten Cause became an AQHA Champion with Superiors in Hunter Under Saddle and Amateur Western Pleasure. She was also an AQHA High Point Junior Hunter Under Saddle Horse. She garnered 26 halter points, 87 open performance points and 79 amateur performance points.

The Iron Rebel/Connie's Kitten cross was reinforced by Classic Iron. Classic Iron earned a performance Register of Merit and 44 performance points. Connie's Kitten was out of the blue hen mare Kiowa's Diana. Kiowa's Diana was the dam of Bill Tiger Leo, 332 AQHA points; Tina Tiger Leo, 146 AQHA points; Lonsum Tiger, NCHA Open Reserve World Champion and El Tigre Leo, 76 AQHA points. All of these great performers were sired by Tiger Leo, making them full brothers and sister to Connie's Kitten. Tiger Leo was a son of Leo and his dam was a thoroughbred named Connie. Tiger Leo was a AAA AQHA Champion with points in cutting and reining.

Kiowa's Diana was a linebred King P 234 mare. She was 2 x 3 x 4 linebred to King. She was also 1 x 2 inbred to Lady's Black Eagle. Lady's Black Eagle was an A rated racing son of King P-234. The third cross to King came from Miss Hershey, the second dam of Kiowa's Diana. Miss Hershey was sired by Teeoh, son of King P-234. Miss Quick Kitty is an unshown daughter of Connie's Kitten. Her sire is Me Quick To, a son of Quick M Silver and a mare named Skytel by Old Mike. Miss Quick Kitty is the dam of Annie Iron by Iron Rebel. Annie Iron has earned 83.5 AQHA performance points. She was an AQHA High Point Hunter Hack Mare.

One of the interesting things about the Steyskal breeding program has to do with putting together families of broodmares. We have seen some of that with the family of Kiowa's Diana. Another family in the Steyskal broodmare band is the Boyd Flick Family. The Boyd Flick Family has produced such great performers as Rainbow Rebel, Flaming Iron, Sizzlin Iron and Iron Fortified. Boyd Flick was a daughter of John Red by Red Man by Joe Hancock. Red Man's appearance in Boyd Flick's pedigree makes all of the Iron Rebel/Boyd Flick performers linebred to Red Man. Red Man was the sire of Worryman, the sire of Iron Rebel's dam Bankette. The dam of Boyd Flick was Palo Gal by Sandy McCue. Boyd Flick and her daughters Leota Flick, Shy Tigress and Sea Tigeress have been major contributors to the Iron Rebel sire record.

Rainbow Rebel was out of Leota Flick by Lonsum Polecat, a son of Leo. This makes Lonsum Polecat and Tiger Leo paternal half brothers. Lonsum Polecat was out of Little Meow by Tadpole, a son of Red Dog. Rainbow Rebel earned 156 AQHA points in the open, amateur and youth divisions. He was Superior in Hunter Under Saddle and Amateur Western Pleasure. Rainbow Rebel was 5 x 4 linebred to Red Man.

Flaming Iron was out of Leota Flame, a daughter of Flaming Jet. Flaming Jet was sired by Jet Deck, a grandson of Top Deck. This makes Flaming Iron 3 x 5 linebred to Top Deck. He is also 5 x 5 linebred to Red Man. Flaming Iron was the 1992 AQHA High Point Junior Pleasure Driving Champion. He was the 1993 All American Quarter Horse Congress Reserve Champion in the Amateur Pleasure Driving and fifth in the Open Pleasure Driving. He has earned 75 open, amateur and youth points. Flaming Iron's full sister, Iron Ember is following in her brother's footsteps as the Rose Circuit Champion Junior Hunter Under Saddle.

Sizzlin Iron has earned 20.5 AQHA points. He is out of Sea Tigress by Tiger Leo and out of Boyd Flick. Sizzlin Iron is 5 x 4 linebred to Red Man. Iron Fortified is a very good pleasure horse currently campaigning. He has earned 47 AQHA performance points. His dam is Shy Tigress by Tiger Leo and out of Sea Flick by Sea Bar. the dam of Sea Flick is Boyd Flick. Iron Fortified is 5 x 5 linebred of Red Man.

Tiger Serena has proven to be another very good producing daughter of Tiger Leo. Her dam was Nigger Ann by Nigger Heck, a son of cowboy H. the dam of Nigger Ann was Sashaway by Buckskin Joe. Tiger Serena was the dam of Stylish Iron when bred to Iron Rebel. Stylish Iron earned 476 points as a World Champion Amateur Hunter Under Saddle Horse and reserve World Champion Senior Hunter Under Saddle. She was Superior in Hunter Under Saddle. She was also an AQHA High Point Hunter Under Saddle winner.

Blackberi Rebel and Wrought Iron Rebel were two top show horses by Iron Rebel that were out of Pennsy Pab. Pennsy Pab was a linebred King mare with linebreeding pattern of 4 x 5 x 5 x 5. Pennsy Pab was sired by Tiger Hank, a son of Tiger Leo. The dam of Tiger Hank was Lala Malvina by Lady's Black Eagle by King P-234. The dam of Lala Malvina was Beverly's Miss blondie by Teeoh by King P-234. Blackberi Rebel earned 136 points in four events. She was Superior in Western Pleasure with 59 points. She had 1 halter point, 1 open trail point, 3 youth trail points, 15 horsemanship points and 27 amateur western pleasure points. Blackberi Rebel was a multiple Nebraska State Champion in open and amateur pleasure and a Reserve Champion in Youth Trail.

Wrought Iron Rebel earned 463 points with Superiors in Trail, Youth Horsemanship and Equitation. He was also a Youth Champion like his sister Blackberi Rebel. Iron Widget was another full sister to Blackberi Rebel and Wrought Iron Rebel. Iron Widget was a performance point earner with three AQHA performance points. Exquisite Iron, another full sister to these performers was unshown. She is the dam of Zippo Mr Gold Bar, a Palomino World Show finalist in pleasure.

The leading point earner sired by Iron Rebel is Son Of A Rebel. Son Of A Rebel earned 2,557 AQHA points. He was a World Champion Junior Western Pleasure Horse; Reserve World Champion Senior Pleasure Horse; an AJQHA Reserve High Point Western Pleasure Horse; an AJQHA Reserve High Point Horsemanship a two time Youth Champion and a two time AJQHA Versatility Champion. This great show horse is Superior in 7 AQHA performance events. The dam of Son Of A Rebel was the great producing mare Band Bar 16. Band Bar 16 was sired by Band Bar by Sugar Bars by Three Bars. This makes Son Of A Rebel 4 x 4 linebred to Three Bars. The dam of Band Bar was Strike Up The Band by Band Play by Band Time. The dam of Strike Up The Band was Murl L. Murl L by Moco Burnett was the dam of the great Mr Bar None, a running champion son of three Bars. The dam of Band Bar 16 was Revenue's Jackie by Revenue H by Revenue. The dam of Band Bar 16 was Jennie Milroy by Revenue. This makes Revenue's Jackie 2 x 2 inbred to Revenue.

Another interesting side note on this pedigree. You will recall that the sire of Miss Bank, the second dam of Iron Rebel was sired by Captain's Courageous. The sire of Frontera Sugar (dam of Sugar Bars) was Rey, a son of Captain's Courageous. This gives us a 5 x 6 linebreeding to Captain's Courageous.

One of the encouraging signs for the Steyskals is the fact that the daughters of Iron Rebel are beginning to produce some very nice show horses. An example is Saturday Nightmare, a full sister to Son Of A Rebel. This great mare was the seventh leading dam of money winners in 1992 in the NSBA. Her foals Saturdaynighthustler and Saturdaynite Express won over $11,000 in competition in 1992. Iron Rebel's sire record tells us that he has sired only 82 performers through 1993. Of the 82 performers, Iron Rebel has 66 point earners with 54 Register of Merit winners. These performers have 26 Superior awards to their credit. But this isn't his entire sire record. According to Mary Kay, the Iron Rebels make pretty good show horses for young horsemen. Many of his foals have gone on to serve youth and state programs like the Nebraska 4-H Horse Program, where produce records aren't available.

We often talk about fate and how it steps in to play a role in the horse breeding industry. The Steyskals found out that Iron Rebel's difficulty on the track wasn't because of a lack of speed, but a gate problem. He was gate shy. This track problem enabled them to buy the pretty stallion, allowing him to excel as a show horse and sire of show horses. Thus, fate steps in to bring the racing blood of Top Deck into the working line.