he Iroquois Steeplechase, Nashville’s iconic sporting event benefiting Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and sponsored by Bank of America, has named its honorary co-chairs for its 2018 race: Dr. Wallace “Skip” Neblett III, M.D., and the Wallace and Rowan families represented by Mr. Guy Wallace III and Mr. Kipp Rowan. These three individuals were selected for their long-time service to the community.
“As we consider honorary chairpersons, we look for individuals who embody the true spirit ofthe Iroquois Steeplechase, which includes recognizing the magnificence of the horses and the power of giving back,” said Dwight Hall, chairman of the Iroquois Steeplechase Race Committee. “These three gentlemen, for the entirety of their professional lives, have all been compassionate caregivers who have tremendously improved our community in their own unique way.”
Neblett is a pediatric surgeon in his 38th year of practice at Children’s Hospital. During his tenure with Vanderbilt, Neblett has served in numerous leadership roles, including chair of the Children’s Operating Room Steering Committee, vice chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences and member of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt Advisory Board. He also has served as president of the Nashville Surgical Society, secretary and president of the H. William Scott Surgical Society, and he is a fellow of the American Colleges of Surgeons, the American Pediatric Surgical Association, the Surgical Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Southern Surgical Association.
“During my tenure with Vanderbilt, I have witnessed firsthand how meaningful the relationship is between Children’s Hospital and Iroquois Steeplechase,” Neblett said. “Our community is stronger as a result of this powerful partnership, and I am honored to serve as an honorary co-chair alongside Kipp and Guy for this year’s event.”
For the past 30 years, the Wallace and Rowan families have played a special role in caring forthe horses running the Iroquois Steeplechase. The families, related by marriage, celebrate Steeplechase as an annual tradition in which all their passions come together – passion for family, horses, and fun. Rowan and Wallace, on their families’ behalf, anchor two important aspects of ensuring the safety of the horses on race day.
For his part in the race, Rowan has offered ambulance services for the horses competing in the race for nearly three decades. During the event, Rowan and his family provide three large trailers that are used to transport horses to the vet should they become injured during the race; the trailers are stocked with equipment and personnel for any need that may arise. This service ensures that safe, onsite transportation is available to the horses, which is necessary in the event of an emergency.
Similar to Rowan, Wallace and his family have been long-time caregivers to the horsesparticipating in the race as well. He helped establish the misting and water stations that are used to cool the horses during the event. Wallace and his team, which consists of up to 20 volunteers, set up cooling stations at the entry and exit point to the track, as well as at the finish line, since it is vital to regulate the horses’ body temperature. These stations are equipped with multiple misting fans, water, buckets, four wheelers and hundreds of bags of ice. With horse safety being such a primary concern for any racing event, these stations have become a best practice replicated in other steeplechase races.
“Iroquois Steeplechase is a world-class event, and it’s the one day that I absolutely look forward to each year,” Wallace said. “It’s the pageantry, it’s an event, and it’s a celebration of spring and of the horse that is known all over the country and world – and I am blessed to be a part of it.”
For those wanting to learn more about the 77th Iroquois Steeplechase or to purchase tickets,visit http://www.iroquoissteeplechase.org.
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