The Brown Advisory Iroquois Cheltenham Challenge can now boast one of the largest payouts of any steeplechase event in the world: any horse to complete the Challenge would earn nearly a million dollars.
The Brown Advisory Challenge is straightforward: win Nashville’s Grade 1 Calvin Houghland Iroquois Hurdle Stakes on May 14th and the Group 1 Ryanair World Hurdle at Cheltenham in March 2017. Both are three-mile races on turf over fences. Between the two purses and the $500,000 bonus, total winnings would exceed approximately $960,000.
“We have had interest from a number of teams both in America and in the U.K.,” said Iroquois Steeplechase Chairman Dwight Hall, a former jockey and board member of the National Steeplechase Association. “Our goal is to offer an international opportunity for horsemen on both sides of the Atlantic. From an owner’s perspective, this is a very attractive challenge. A foreign horse could recoup its travel expenses with a third-place finish in our race, or earn much more if it were to win.”
The Iroquois track in Nashville is considered to be among the very best in the United States, with professional maintenance and irrigation that ensures safe and consistent going on par with international standards. The 75th anniversary running of the Iroquois Steeplechase is set for May 14th.
Baltimore-based Brown Advisory saw the opportunity to support the Challenge, and signed on as the presenting sponsor.
Over the last 25 years, a handful of American horses and riders have competed with credit in the United Kingdom, including George Sloan, who became the only jockey from the United States to win the British Amateur Championship in the 1970s. The legendary gelding Flatterer, a four-time consecutive Eclipse Award winner, ran second at Cheltenham in the 1980s, and Blythe Miller on Lonesome Glory won at both Cheltenham and Iroquois in the 1990s.
More recently, the Calvin Houghland-owned Pierrot Lunaire came over from England to win the Iroquois Steeplechase in 2009, on his way to winning the Eclipse Award in 2012. The Iroquois race is named for a horse that was the first American to win the English Derby in 1881, before retiring to stud at General William Harding’s Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville. All but a handful of horses that have won the Iroquois since 1941 descended from the race’s namesake.
The Cheltenham Festival has become England’s largest sporting event, attracting nearly 250,000 spectators to its annual four-day meet in March. The Challenge is an opportunity to attract more American horses to compete there, and to offer English, Irish and European horses a larger opportunity on the world stage.
For more information on the Brown Advisory Iroquois Cheltenham Challenge, go here or to www.cheltenham.thejockeyclub.uk. Competition terms and conditions can be found here.
Brown Advisory is an independent investment firm with a trans-Atlantic presence, with offices on the East Coast of America and in London. Founded in 1993 as an affiliate of Alex. Brown & Sons, a leading U.S. investment bank, Brown Advisory became independent in 1998 and established its international business in London, in 2008. The firm provides investment management services for individuals, families, charities and institutions based in over 35 countries worldwide. The firm’s employee ownership, experienced investment professionals, collaborative investment process and solutions-based culture help to make a material difference in the lives of its clients. To learn more about Brown Advisory please visit www.brownadvisory.com.