Iroquois Steeplechase Set for May 9, 2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 28, 2015 — Nashville ushers in the spring season as only Music City could—with a chorus of revelry from the fields around Percy Warner Park, home to the annual Iroquois Steeplechase. This year marks the 74th year of this premier Southern steeplechase event, which benefits Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
The best horses and jockeys on the circuit take part in the seven races of the day, all but one over hurdles or fences. The Iroquois Steeplechase includes one of the richest amateur steeplechase races in the U.S., The Bright Hour Amateur Hurdle, and is capped by The Calvin Houghland Iroquois, a Grade I steeplechase that attracts the best horses and riders in America. Winners of this final race are regarded as the best on the circuit and have often been recognized with The Eclipse Award, the highest honor for horses and riders in America.
“Iroquois winners include the greatest steeplechasing horses in America, including six Eclipse Winners – Flatterer, Lonesome Glory, Correggio, All Gong, Good Night Shirt and Divine Fortune. The top owners, trainers and riders build their year around the Iroquois,” said Dwight Hall, chairman of the Iroquois Steeplechase Race Committee and a former steeplechase jockey.
Since 1941, Nashville has celebrated the spring season with the Iroquois Steeplechase. The race is a rite of passage for members of Nashville society, who know that the sound of approaching horse hooves means that the social season is right around the corner.
“Remarkably, the Iroquois Steeplechase remains unchanged, for the most part, from its roots,” said Hall. “It is the last surviving example in Tennessee of what horse racing was meant to be. By staying true to this spectacular sport, our race showcases the best trainers, riders and jockeys on the steeplechase circuit and the beauty of Southern culture at its finest.”
Nashvillians celebrate the event in their Southern best, with seersucker, sundresses and sunhats galore, and enjoy the race from their box seats or tailgating spots. This fanfare begins long before the race does, with anticipatory parties placed on the schedule months in advance.
The second Saturday in May is Nashville’s time to celebrate Southern tradition and welcome visitors from around the country to its most storied event.
For more information about the Iroquois Steeplechase, visit iroquoissteeplechase.org.
About the Iroquois Steeplechase
Held on the second Saturday of every May at Nashville’s Percy Warner Park, the Iroquois Steeplechase is the premier spring race in American steeplechasing and Music City’s traditional rite of spring – typically attracting more than 25,000 spectators. Since being designated in 1981 as the official charity of the Iroquois Steeplechase, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt has received nearly $10 million from the event proceeds. For information on advance ticket purchases, corporate and hospitality tents, and tailgating and RV spaces, visit www.iroquoissteeplechase.org or call (615) 591-2991.
About the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is a leader in pediatric care, ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and 15th in the nation by Parents magazine. The Children’s Hospital provides 222 beds for the highest level of pediatric care and is also a top-level teaching and research facility. The Children’s Hospital features Centers of Excellence for the treatment of diabetes and congenital heart disorders and offers services for cancer, organ and bone marrow transplants, level 1 pediatric trauma, treatment for developmental disorders and the highest designated level NICU in the state.