TVV Capital to Sponsor Year Two of Iroquois Cheltenham Challenge

TVV Capital to Sponsor Year Two of Iroquois Cheltenham Challenge

When Rawnaq won the $200,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) last May, he not only notched his first Grade 1 success by edging out Irish invaders Shaneshill and Nichols Canyon, but he also catapulted himself toward the 2016 Eclipse Award by qualifying to run for the $500,000 Brown Advisory Iroquois Cheltenham Challenge.

But Rawnaq’s training injury in January has effectively eliminated him from the competition, meaning the winner of the Grade 1 Sun Bets Stayers Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on March 16 will now be qualified to run for the half million-dollar bonus at Nashville’s Iroquois Steeplechase on May 13.

Iroquois Steeplechase Announces Selection of 2017 Featured Artist

Iroquois Steeplechase Announces Selection of 2017 Featured Artist

The Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation, the nonprofit organization which governs the Iroquois Steeplechase, recently made its annual selection of the race’s featured artist -- a tradition for the May event dubbed ‘Nashville’s Rite of Spring since 1941.’

Florida-based artist Debbie Sampson is producing a painting that will be used as the official artwork for the 2017 race, which is now in its 76th year and will be held on Saturday, May 13. The piece will be revealed in the Spring and auctioned off at the annual pre-race party the night before Steeplechase, with proceeds benefitting the nonprofit and the organizations it supports.

Iroquois Steeplechase Presents Check to Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Iroquois Steeplechase Presents Check to Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Iroquois Steeplechase recently made its annual contribution to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt with proceeds raised through the past year’s celebration of the event’s 75th anniversary.

Members of the Steeplechase staff -- Executive Director Libby Cheek, Director of Sponsorship & Business Development GeorgeAnn Dingus, and Account Administration Specialist Jenny Streams -- presented a check for $144,764 to Dr. Meg Rush, former Honorary Chair of the Iroquois Steeplechase and Chief of Staff and Executive Medical Director at Children's Hospital, and Beth Moore, Director of Community Development at Children's Hospital, in front of the hospital’s butterfly wall

Remembering Our Friend Davis Carr

We are saddened by the recent passing of Davis Carr, who was a founding trustee of the Volunteer State Horsemen's Foundation and a loyal supporter of the Iroquois Steeplechase. We are thankful for his contributions to further solidify our event’s reputation as a world-class Nashville tradition, and we extend our condolences to his family.

Below is Mr. Carr’s obituary, which was published in The Tennessean.

Davis H. Carr. Davis died on December 11, 2016 at the age of 76. He was born on July 21, 1940 in Richmond Virginia. Davis received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1961 and a Juris Doctor degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1970. He joined the law firm of Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry in the same year. In 1984, Davis became the Managing Partner of Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry and served in that role through 1997. Boult Cummings Conners & Berry merged with Bradley Arant Rose & White on January 1, 2009, and Davis continued as a partner in the firm.

Davis' practice included corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, corporate, commercial and municipal finance, and family business. He served as general counsel to several financial institutions and served on the Board of Directors of American Security Bank & Trust Company, First Union Bank of Tennessee, Dominion Bank of Middle Tennessee and Bank of Eagleville. Davis was active in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee community and was a past trustee, Vice Chair and member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Fisk University; past chairman of Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee; a past director, member of the Executive Committee, and founding chairman of the Nashville Downtown Partnership. He previously served as a director of the Nashville Symphony Association; as a director, member of the Executive Committee, vice-chair for Regional and Governmental Relations and general counsel to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce; director of the Greater Nashville Arts Foundation; and a director and president of the Cumberland Museum (now known as Adventure Science Center) of which he is an Honorary Life member. Davis also was a founder and Trustee of the Volunteer State Horsemen's Foundation. Davis was active in state and local politics, was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting and fishing. A long-time resident of Nashville, Davis moved to Charlotte, Tennessee to reside on his farm, where he resided on the date of his death.

Davis is preceded in death by his wife, Martha Cash Carr of Mayfield, KY, and his parents, Frederick C.(Pat) Carr and Bernice H. Carr, and a brother, Frederick C. Carr III, all of Richmond, VA. He is survived by his daughters, Wendy Carr and Christy Stewart, Sarah Hobbs and Rachel (Oscar) Arauz, and 7 grandchildren, James Joseph Conners, Jr., Haden Christine Conners, Samuel Davis Conners, Carson Guerry Stewart, Jacob Cash Hobbs, Isabella Arauz and Justus Porter Keith. Also survived by a brother, Thomas H. Carr (Jean) and a sister, Bonnie C. (Richard) Garrett, all of Richmond, VA.

A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, December 16, 2016, at two thirty in the afternoon, Woodlawn's Dignity Hall. A family burial will be held in Mayfield, KY, on Sunday.

Gathering of Family & Friends will be held Thursday from four o'clock until seven o'clock and Friday from one thirty until two thirty at Woodlawn Roesch-Patton Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers the family respectfully requests memorial contributions be made to Junior Achievement-Nashville, 120 Powell Place, Nashville, TN 37204.

Celebrate the Season: Cigar + Bourbon Tasting


The Iroquois Steeplechase will host a cigar and bourbon tasting at Franklin Cigar, in partnership with its neighboring Franklin business Carothers Wine and Spirits, to benefit our membership group, the Iroquois Alliance, on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m.

The public is invited to purchase tickets to the festive holiday affair, which will be held in Franklin Cigar’s private smoking lounge. Each ticket includes hors d’oeuvres, two cigars and bourbon tastings provided by Carothers Wine and Spirits. The tastings will begin at 6:30 p.m., and guests are encouraged to arrive early to socialize and network. Dave Pearse, owner of Franklin Cigar and Justin Wilson of Carothers Wine and Spirits will be in attendance to engage in informative discussions of the different varieties of cigars and bourbons with those who are interested.

Event attendees will receive 10% off cigar, liquor or beer purchases made that night (a few exclusions apply.) A portion of the evening’s ticket sales and proceeds will benefit the Iroquois Alliance, which was formed in 2010 as a means for patrons to contribute to the Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation’s mission to promote the sport of steeplechasing, while also raising funds and awareness for the several deserving organizations the Iroquois Steeplechase supports.

Membership benefits of the Iroquois Alliance include invitations to exclusive social and networking events; discounted tickets to events such as the Cigar and Bourbon Tasting; and volunteer opportunities on race day and throughout the year.

Tickets to the event are $15 for Alliance members and $25 for non-Alliance members and can be purchased at Alliance members must sign in to their accounts to access the discounted ticket; those who are interested in joining the Alliance may do so at


Iroquois Steeplechase Offers Black Friday Sale, Announces New Infield Party


For the first time ever, the Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation will allow longtime patrons and newcomers alike to purchase significantly discounted tickets for the 2017 Iroquois Steeplechase, to be held on Saturday, May 13 at Percy Warner Park in Nashville. The sale, which will run from Black Friday, Nov. 25 through Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29, will offer three types of tickets at a reduced rate for five days only, and quantities of certain tickets are limited. 

Libby Cheek, Executive Director for the Iroquois Steeplechase, says the nonprofit elected to run this sale as a way to give back to the Nashville community and to support the organization’s efforts to promote the sport of Steeplechasing. Proceeds from the event have generated more than $10 million for beneficiaries including Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

“Though it is a one-day event, the Iroquois Steeplechase works year-round to support Children’s Hospital and other organizations in various ways, and our ticket sales are a huge part of that,” Cheek said. “That’s why we want to continue the sale through Giving Tuesday -- an internationally recognized day dedicated to supporting nonprofit organizations and events like ours -- in an effort to emphasize the cause and the contribution.”

Affectionately called “Nashville’s Rite of Spring since 1941,” the Iroquois Steeplechase attracts more than 25,000 spectators annually, a large number of whom arrive dressed to the nines to take part in the tailgating experience in the race grounds’ infield. The infield is divided into six areas -- Centerfield, Midfield, The Stretch, Topside, The Turn and The Meadows -- and each 13’ x 18’  tailgating space (with the exception of The Meadows, where spaces are 20’ x 27’) includes armbands for eight people and two parking passes. During the post-Thanksgiving sale only, all tailgating spaces that were not sold last year will be $300 apiece -- half off of the regular price of $600.

A second ticket option that will be discounted as part of the sale is individual infield tickets, which enable racegoers to access all the infield’s tailgating areas without having to be part of a tailgating space. This option to purchase individual tickets was introduced in recent years to accommodate the influx of newcomers to the city who wanted to attend the race but were not able to get tickets without being invited by a tailgating space holder. Infield tickets are regularly sold for $85 apiece but will be marked down to $50 for the five-day sale.

 Due to great popularity of several all-inclusive tents in other areas of the race grounds, the Iroquois Steeplechase will introduce a new social tent in the infield for 2017. Located in the middle of the infield, the Fox Den is an all-inclusive, add-on option for adult racegoers to enjoy food, beverages and entertainment from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., and can be purchased by anyone who has bought a tailgating space or infield ticket and box holders. Tickets to the Fox Den will cost $75 apiece, but as a special presale offer to coincide with the announcement of the new area, they will be sold for $50 from Black Friday through Giving Tuesday.

 Additionally, anyone who purchases a ticket to the Fox Den during the five-day sale can also purchase a parking space in Lot M, conveniently located near the infield, for $25

“We have seen the demand for all-inclusive tents grow year after year, and we decided the infield deserved its own area for people to have food and drink without having to bring it in themselves,” Cheek said. “We have no doubt that the Fox Den will be the hub of the infield and expect it will be as popular an area as our other social tents are.”

 Those who wish to to purchase tickets as a part of this special Black Friday - Giving Tuesday sale should visit Maps of the grounds and more details about the various tailgating areas are also available online at


Rawnaq Eyes TransAtlantic Bonus [Thoroughbred Daily News]

Rawnaq Eyes TransAtlantic Bonus [Thoroughbred Daily News]

Irvin S. Naylor’s Rawnaq (Ire) {Azamour {Ire}) has won his three starts over fences this year, banked $360,000, and is a virtual shoo-in for this year’s Eclipse Award as champion steeplechase horse.

Two of his wins have been in the year’s richest and toughest races, the GI $200,000 Calvin Houghland Iroquois in Nashville last May and last Saturday’s GI $350,000 Grand National at the Far Hills Races in New Jersey.

He is all but assured the National Steeplechase Association earnings title with an advantage of more than $140,000 over his closest competitor, Grand National second finisher Scorpiancer (Ire) {Scorpion {Ire}).

Under other circumstances, the 2015 import might be entitled to a turnout at Naylor’s Maryland farm. But the 9-year-old has more work ahead.

The ultimate goal lies across the Atlantic Ocean at storied Cheltenham Race Course on Mar. 16 for the G1 Ryanair World Hurdle. Brown Advisory, with offices in both the U.S. and UK, has offered a $500,000 bonus to any horse that can win the World Hurdle and Iroquois, both three-mile races, in the same 12-month period.

Iroquois Steeplechase Seeks Equestrian Artist

"Endurance" by 2016 Featured Artist Hollie Berry

"Endurance" by 2016 Featured Artist Hollie Berry


The Iroquois Steeplechase, Nashville’s annual rite of spring since 1941, is accepting submissions through Sept. 23 from equestrian artists who are interested in becoming the event’s Featured Artist for 2017.

Each year, the Iroquois Steeplechase, under the direction of the non-profit 501c3 organization the Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation, selects an artist to create a piece that captures and conveys the spirited sport of steeplechasing. The artwork is used throughout the year to promote the event, which is always held the second Saturday of each May, and is auctioned off the night before the race to support the organization’s primary beneficiary, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

“The selection of the Featured Artist is a tradition that we look forward to every year,” said Libby Cheek, Executive Director of the Iroquois Steeplechase. “We have chosen oil paintings that are as detailed as photographs and other pieces that are more abstract. The guidelines are loose to encourage creativity.”

Hollie Berry of Chattanooga, Tenn. was named the 2016 Featured Artist, and used oil on wood panel to create “Endurance,” a painting depicting a group of vibrantly colored jockey-mounted horses jumping over a fence.

“We will consider any and all submissions,” said Cheek. “This is a terrific opportunity for local artists to receive exposure, and we are always amazed at the talent we have the privilege to review.”

The Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation will review submissions received through Friday, Sept. 23. Those interested should email Libby Cheek here with a brief bio and work samples. After the Featured Artist is selected, the Foundation will establish a deadline for when the artwork should be completed so that it can be revealed to the public.

Tickets, tailgating spaces, VIP areas and more are now available for the 2017 Iroquois Steeplechase on May 13. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.