IROQUOIS STEEPLECHASE PREPS FOR NASHVILLE SPRING TRADITION’S 76TH YEAR
Time-Honored Sporting Event Set for May 13 With New Attractions, Ticket Options
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Since 1941, the Iroquois Steeplechase has attracted the best horses and riders in the world to compete at Percy Warner Park in front of more than 25,000 spectators dressed to the nines. On Saturday, May 13, the tradition will continue with plenty of excitement and several new ticket options including individual seats in the event’s premium Skybox Suites; an opportunity to win a box for next year’s races; and an all-inclusive society tent in the infield.
The annual event -- run by the non-profit Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation -- boasts a strategically designed and meticulously cared-for race course inside Percy Warner Park, located nine miles from downtown Nashville, where locals and visitors alike flock year after year for a day traditionally marked by Southern fashions, family recipes and craft cocktails, all among a slew of tents spread across the grounds.
The highly coveted box seats at Iroquois Steeplechase are located hillside, overlooking the race track and the infield, and have a waiting list that can take years for box holder hopefuls to climb. This year, the Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation is offering an exciting new option in another exclusive area, the Skybox Suites, which are also hillside to the right of the boxes. 2017 marks the first time that patrons can purchase individual seats in the Suites, which are climate controlled and include food and beverage service, panoramic views of the grounds, and a private restroom. Tickets to the Skybox Suites are $750 per person, and the first 50 sold will also include a ticket to the Iroquois Society, a premium tent in the box area valued at $500 per person. Interested parties can learn more and reserve their seats at www.iroquoissteeplechase.org/skyboxsuites.
Due to the increasing demand for box seats, the Foundation has also elected to raffle off an eight-person box for the 2018 Iroquois Steeplechase. Participants must be at least 18 years of age to purchase a raffle ticket which are $25 each and are currently on sale through May 10, 2017 at midnight. The winner will be drawn on May 11, 2017 and will receive ownership of the box for the event on Saturday, May 12, 2018 only. Raffle tickets can be purchased at www.iroquoissteeplechase.org/box-raffle.
Dwight Hall, chairman of the organization’s Race Committee, said that the largest mass of racegoers continually elects to tailgate in the infield, which is divided into six sections -- Centerfield, Midfield, The Turn, The Meadows, The Stretch, and Topside.
“There is certainly a buzz in the infield that is palpable all across the park on race day,” Hall said. “You can’t beat the excitement and energy that the tailgating crowd brings to our event each year, and we continue to offer new options that will further enhance the infield experience, such as selling individual tickets which make it possible to attend race day by yourself or in a smaller group; and positioning food trucks and some of the Iroquois Shoppes in key tailgating areas to provide these ticket holders with important amenities.”
Each of the areas contains numbered spaces that can be purchased by attendees to set up their own tailgates that typically include tents, tables, chairs and an impressive spread of food and drinks. Each tailgating space is $600 and includes eight armbands, with the option to purchase more for additional guests. Guests may also purchase a single ticket to the infield for $85, which offers access to each of the aforementioned infield areas without being included in a specific tailgating space.
Also new this year is the Fox Den, a society tent located in the middle of the infield to which tickets can be purchased for $75 as an add-on, upgrade option. Access to the Fox Den includes food, drink and entertainment all day, with the freedom to come and go as desired.
“As our other society tents grew in popularity, we recognized the need to provide this all-inclusive type of tent in the infield -- ideal for people with tailgating spaces who prefer to have their food and drink provided rather than bring in their own -- but also accessible for box holders and patrons in other areas who want a taste of the unique infield experience,” Hall said. “In addition, other tents such as the Hunt Club are known for providing the opportunity to network and entertain guests, so we look forward to seeing the Fox Den become that space for the somewhat younger demographic that typically populates the infield.”
At the heart of Steeplechase is the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, which has received more than $10 million since it was designated as the primary beneficiary of the racing event in 1981. Each year, the children’s hospital selects a patient as its Child Ambassador, who serves as the face of the organization and a meaningful representation of the cause supported by Steeplechase patrons.
Those who attend the event can expect a variety of family-friendly activities. The annual stick horse race, a favorite for children, offers youngsters a chance to race others in their age group and win prizes donated by local organizations. In addition, the Family Area contains games, blow-up toys and terrific views of the racing action to keep spectators of all ages entertained.
Various VIP options are returning this year, including Tents in the Turn and Hospitality Village, each of which offer three packages from which to choose, scaling in price. The historically sold out Hunt Club, located near the Iroquois Shoppes and the box seats, is doubling in size and will now include two tents, each with all-day access to food, beverage and entertainment, as well as impressive views of the race track for $225 per adult and $100 per child. Entire tables can also be reserved in the Hunt Club at $2,250 for ten adults.
All types of tickets are on sale now at www.iroquoissteeplechase.org/tickets and range from $20 per person for General Admission, to $750 per person for a seat in the Skybox Suites, as well as several opportunities to accommodate larger groups. More information about Steeplechase, including a calendar of pre-race events, maps of the grounds, and rules and regulations can also be found online. For inquiries concerning ticketing or sponsorships, call the Iroquois Steeplechase office at 615-591-2991.
MORE ABOUT THE IROQUOIS STEEPLECHASE
This iconic sporting event has been Nashville’s rite of spring since 1941, attracting more than 25,000 spectators to watch the best horses and riders in the world race over hurdles on a three-mile turf track. Held the second Saturday of each May at Percy Warner Park, the Iroquois Steeplechase is Music City’s annual celebration of time-honored traditions, Tennessee hospitality and Southern fashions.
Those who attend enjoy areas for families, well-appointed tents and individually organized tailgates where the emphasis is on race day pickings, larger-than-life hats, specialty drinks by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and crowd-pleasing recipes. More importantly, guests support a cause at the heart of the event: Since being designated as the official charity in 1981, Iroquois Steeplechase has raised more than $10 million in support of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. For more information, go to www.iroquoissteeplechase.org.