7 Fun Facts About The Iroquois SteepleChase

What’s the Best Thing about the Iroquois Steeplechase?

It happens every year in Nashville, Tennessee on the second Saturday in May. It’s a well anticipated, rites of spring event. What’s the best thing about the Steeplechase? Well it depends on who you ask. The die-hard fans of the sport would say, “It’s all about the race!” The trailing spouses might declare that it’s the atmosphere of fun, the food, and fellowship. But if you ask the lady who went last year whose feet hurt from tramping through the parking lot, she might say the best keep secret was taking a limo service.

But then there’s my opinion. I personally look forward to the incredibly fun pictures of the cool hats. Hats or horses, you might ask? I’ll take the hats! The horses look incredibly thin with their rib cages visible. However, I did learn that a lean horse is not necessarily unhealthy. Okay, so I defer to the equestrian experts on the subject of horses. So it’s back to the hats.

If you make it to this year’s Iroquois Steeplechase it will be hard to overlook the fantastic hat fashions. There is everything cool about hats. You will see those with huge floppy hats, lampshade look-a-likes, swanky feathered hats, embossed ones, and of course, the creative hat enthusiasts wear intricately hand-designed hats.

Of course, I love the hats because I wouldn’t know a thoroughbred from a mule. Yep, it’s that bad. I only know I would feel like one if I wore some of the spikey heels that the women wear to the affair. Of course, that does not bother the horses as they are trained for marathon works. Speaking of horses, here’s something just for Iroquois Steeplechase fans:


  • Did you know a horse lover created the official painting for this 75th year anniversary of the race? It will be sold during the online auction.
  • The race started 7 decades ago in 1941 and is still considered Nashville’s rites of spring.
  • The Iroquois has had a cross- Atlantic rivalry throughout its history
  • This year a winning horse could earn more than $850,000 by crossing the finishing line first in both races, considering their individual purses and the Brown Advisory Cheltenham Iroquois Challenge.
  • The thoroughbred horses in the race are all 4 years old or older.
  • Box seats are already sold out for 2016 Steeplechase
  • The Steeplechase is named after the winner of the first race—Iroquois, the first American-bred thoroughbred to win the prestigious British Epsom Derby
    A confidant of FDR, as in former US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, helped start the race.

Will you be among the 25,000 or more spectators parading the grounds at Percy Warner Park? There are tickets still available. The good news is its all for a worthy cause. Since being designated as a primary beneficiary, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt has received more than $10 million from The Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation.

— Sherre Miller Bishop, is a writer, corporate speaker, and comedienne based in Nashville, Tennessee.

If you would like to avoid parking hassles, and superior service for the Iroquois Steeplechase, book early. When you book transportation with this limo service, a professionally trained chauffeur will show up early wearing one of Emerald’s signature emerald green ties to transport you and relieve the stressors that come with these type of events. There’s nothing better this side of heaven than our curb service, unless you’re a horse of course. For a free limo service quote, we can be reached at (615) 678-4695.

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