Iroquois Steeplechase Fun Facts

Learn the history and find out everything you need to know about Iroquois Steeplechase.

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.

  • 2019 marked the 78th running of the Iroquois Steeplechase.
  • Even under threatening weather conditions such as the Nashville Flood of 2010, the Iroquois has run continuously since 1941 only taking one year off during World War II.
  • The list of Iroquois winners includes the greatest steeplechase horses in America. Five Eclipse Award winners – Flatterer, Lonesome Glory, Correggio, All Gong, and Good Night Shirt – have won the Iroquois. Several others have competed in the race.
  • When Iroquois, the namesake of the Nashville race, became the first American-bred winner of the English Derby in 1881, Wall Street closed temporarily for a celebration.
  • The Iroquois Steeplechase grounds were constructed in 1936 as part of a parks improvement project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
  • The Iroquois draws an average crowd of 25,000 on race day.
  • Improvements to the Iroquois Steeplechase grounds that are paid for by the Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation from race proceeds provide year-round benefits and enhancements for the Equestrian Center at Percy Warner Park.
  • Since 1981, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt has been the official charity of the Iroquois Steeplechase and has received nearly $10 million from the event proceeds.