The Iroquois Steeplechase has been Nashville's rite of spring since 1941, attracting more than 25,000 spectators annually to watch the best horses and riders in the world race over hurdles and timber on a manicured turf track.
Held the second Saturday of each May at Percy Warner Park, this iconic sporting event is Music City's annual celebration of time‐honored traditions, Tennessee hospitality and Southern fashions. Guests enjoy areas for families, well‐appointed tents and individually organized tailgates where the emphasis is on race day pickings, larger‐than‐life hats, Honey Jack Juleps and crowd‐pleasing recipes.
The Iroquois Steeplechase is run by the nonprofit, 501c3 organization the Volunteer State Horsemen's Foundation who manages and produces a world-class event and promotes the sport and the spirit of steeplechasing throughout the community.
Through the Iroquois Steeplechase, the foundation supports several local organizations by way of proceeds. 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. In addition, our organization supports Friends of Warner Parks and other deserving nonprofits and charities.
Our Team + Board
The Iroquois Steeplechase staff works closely with The Volunteer State Horsemen's Foundation Trustees, as well as the Race Committee, to manage and produce an annual world-class event that supports the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, and promotes the sport of steeplechasing, and the spirit of amateurism throughout the community.
The Iroquois Steeplechase has partnered with the world famous Cheltenham Racecourse in England to announce a partnership and a $500,000 bonus challenge to any horse that can win both the Ryanair Group 1 World Hurdle at Cheltenham in March AND the 75th Anniversary Grade 1 Calvin Houghland Iroquois Hurdle Stakes in May (...or vice versa, within a 12‐month period).
As Irish-bred Rawnaq was named winner of the Iroquois race on May 14, 2016, the racing community anxiously awaits an announcement of owner Irv Naylor's decision to have his winning horse compete at Cheltenham next March.
The Iroquois Cheltenham Challenge has reignited the cross‐Atlantic rivalry that has been a part of steeplechase racing through history, and this challenge is a significant one.
The Iroquois Alliance
The Iroquois Alliance was formed in 2010 as a means for patrons to assist the Volunteer State Horsemen's Foundation in the continued promotion of steeplechase racing and Nashville’s most iconic spring event, while helping support and raise money for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. Those interested in becoming part of a respected Nashville society and tradition can join at membership levels that range from $25/year and scale to a lifetime membership of $1,500.
The Gift Shop
The Iroquois Steeplechase has been Nashville's rite of spring since 1941, and is Music City's annual celebration of time‐honored traditions. Get your Steeplechase swag in our gift shop below!
History + Traditions
The Iroquois Steeplechase has been Nashville’s rite of spring since 1941, a time‐honored tradition of Middle Tennesseans for seven decades. Its rich history dates back to the pasture races in Middle Tennessee during the 1930s, creating a legacy that resonates within the Nashville community today.
Today, the Iroquois Steeplechase‐‐run by the nonprofit, 501c3 organization the Volunteer State Horsemen's Foundation‐‐routinely attracts more than 25,000 to the Equestrian Center at Percy Warner Park in Nashville to watch the best horses and riders in the world.
The Iroquois Steeplechase is run by the nonprofit, 501c3 organization the Volunteer State Horseman's Foundation.
Since being designated as the official charity of our event in 1981, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt has received more than $10 million from Iroquois Steeplechase proceeds. Your gift will not only make an impact in promoting the sport and tradition of steeplechasing, but it will also help support the children of Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.