history

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.

Dr. John Youmans

2008 Inductee

Dr. John Youmans was the recipient of many awards during his career in medicine. He received the French Legion of Honor for his work on nutrition in unoccupied France during World War II. The good doctor (as he was called) was the subject of many anecdotes about his celebrated accolades and accomplishments. Among these was a tremendous tolerance for pain that characterized his fearless fox hunting and Steeplechaser training. One such story concerned his having sustained a broken leg in a fall off one of his chasers after which he remounted only to fall again and break the other leg. In as much as he was Dean of the Vanderbilt School of Medicine at this time, this performance created a stir when the admissions nurse greeted him with, “[W]ell, John, it’s like old times, isn’t it?” As owner of “Storm Hour”, Dr. Youmans won the Iroquois twice, in 1950 and again in 1953 when he edged out his famous rivals, Jarrin John and “Ginny Bug”, by a nose.