On the morning of March 17th, nearly 100 people will gather at Sam’s Place in Belle Meade to watch the live telecast of Cheltenham Festival's Ryanair World Hurdle (10:30 a.m.) and the kickoff of the Brown Advisory Iroquois Cheltenham Challenge.
The race is of particular interest to us: the first-place winner of the March 17th contest will have a chance to take home a $500,000 bonus if he/she crosses the pond to win Iroquois’ own Grade 1 Calvin Houghland Iroquois Hurdle Stakes, sponsored by Bank of America, in Nashville on May 14th.
If you're attending our watch party tomorrow, start plotting your favorite--here's the final 2016 Ryanair World Hurdle race card:
Last fall, officials from the Iroquois Steeplechase and Cheltenham Racecourse in the United Kingdom announced a $500,000 bonus to any horse that could win both the Iroquois and the Ryanair World Hurdle within one calendar year. The Cheltenham Festival has become England’s largest sporting event, attracting nearly 250,000 spectators to its annual four-day meet, and the Brown Advisory Iroquois Cheltenham Challenge reignites a transAtlantic rivalry by upping the ante between two of the most iconic steeplechase races in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The challenge is sponsored by Baltimore-based investment company Brown Advisory, who is also a partner of a steeplechase race at Cheltenham. Company CEO Mike Hankin is a respected owner known for fielding competitive horses on both sides, and we're grateful that he's championing this competition!