The 81st annual Iroquois Steeplechase races will be held Saturday, May 14, 2022 at Percy Warner Park.
“It is exciting to bring Nashville’s rite of spring back to its traditional date in 2022,” said Dwight Hall, Chairman of the Iroquois Steeplechase Race Committee. “We are grateful to our community for supporting us the past two years and look forward to continuing our grand tradition of giving back to that same community.”
The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt will remain the primary beneficiary of the Iroquois Steeplechase. Throughout the past 39 years, the Iroquois Steeplechase has donated over $11 million to the hospital through the annual meet. The race meet also donates to other local charities including the Friends of Warner Parks.
This year’s races boast severl new elements including a new timber course that was donated by Leiper’s Fork Steeplechasers owners, Mark McMillan and Mark George, in honor of Brown McMillan. The new timber course will feature new posts that are safer for horses and riders.
Fans come from all walks of life and the younger fanbase is ever-growing. New this year will be the Royal 615 Lounge in Centerfield.
“Last year we saw a tremendous boost in centerfield with a younger crowd for Iroquois Steeplechase. We are launching Royal 615 Lounge to host guests who will enjoy DJ entertainment, craft cocktails and a vibrant vibe to celebrate Nashville’s rite of spring,” said Dwight Hall, Chairman of the Iroquois Steeplechase Race Committee. “Iroquois Steeplechase welcomes a diverse audience and this taps into an elevated experience for those in the inside the race track.”
The co-chairs for this year’s Iroduois Steeplechase are Kathryn M. Edwards, MD, and The Currey Family. The Iroquois Steeplechase is recognizing these Nashvillians for demonstrating the race meet’s dedication to tradition and philanthropy. Edwards, an internationally-recognized expert in vaccinology, focuses on the evaluation of vaccines for the prevention of infectious diseases in adults and children. The Currey family is known in the Nashville area for their philanthropic spirit, entrepreneurial drive and love for the equine industry.
“This is the Super Bowl of steeplechasing. It is an honor to carry on the legacy of my aunt and father in growing and supporting this premier Nashville event,” said Christian Currey, Brownlee Currey’s son and Iroquois Steeplechase Race Committee Member. “My father understood the value of the Iroquois Steeplechase and what it brought to the community. It is Nashville’s finest day. I encourage new Nashvillians to come and enjoy the tradition.”
For a second year, Steeplechase has partnered with Action 24/7 to host the $100,000 Freeplay Pick 6 Challenge on race day. The Tennessee-based sportsbook has also launched the 2022 Iroquois Steeplechase Fun Game to give contestants a chance to win a $100 free bet. To win the 2022 Iroquois Steeplechase Fun Game, players must pick the correct answers to all five questions in order to win the $100 free bet. To win the $100,000 Freeplay Pick 6 Challenge, players will predict the top finishers for each race during the day. Players that make every pick correctly will share a $100,000 cash prize.
The Child Ambassador for this year’s races will be Mattie Ann Harwell. She represent patients in Middle Tennessee and beyond, conveying a message of triumph and positivity at this year’s race meet.
In 2018, Mattie Ann was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis, an immune system disease that causes stomach pain and difficulty swallowing. Her family turned to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. In 2021, Mattie Ann’s journey with Children’s Hospital continued when she suffered two broken growth plates in her right ankle, followed by another break a few months later. As a result of the repeated trauma, she developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) and underwent months of therapy and medication. Thanks to Children’s Hospital, her CRPS is resolved.
As an avid equestrian, Mattie Ann trains three days a week to work towards her dream of becoming an Olympic horseback rider. She also has a passion for music and had a lead role in her school’s musical. During the winter months, Mattie Ann can be found on the basketball court guarding and making shots for her team, the Lady Tigers. Her teachers and peers describe her as confident, compassionate, focused and highly motivated.
Recently, Mattie Ann was suffering severe stomach pains and a decreased appetite. She was seen promptly by her Children’s Hospital gastroenterologist and was diagnosed with IBS-C. Now with new medication, she is doing well and even travelled with her horse to compete at the World Equestrian Center. She proudly took home sixth place out of a large pool of competitors from all over the United States and Canada.
The Iroquois Steeplechase is an iconic sporting event that has been Nashville’s rite of spring since 1941. Held the second Saturday of each May at Percy Warner Park, the annual event attracts more than 25,000 spectators and is Music City’s celebration of time-honored traditions, Tennessee hospitality and southern fashions. The event also supports several philanthropic causes and has donated nearly $11 million to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt since 1981. To learn more about Steeplechase, visit www.iroquoissteeplechase.org.