25,000 attend 72nd annual Iroquois Steeplechase - WKRN News 2

25,000 attend 72nd annual Iroquois Steeplechase

Posted: Updated: May 12, 2013 05:14 AM

Over 25,000 people attended the 72nd Annual Iroquois Steeplechase on Saturday at Percy Warner Park.

The Iroquois Steeplechase is a right of spring for Nashville, you can see all the pretty girls with hats and dresses and guys with bow ties on.

The event is actually named after the first U.S. horse to win the English derby, his name was Iroquois, his silks were red and black.

The event supports the Monroe Carell Junior Children's Hospital. Over the years the race has raised millions of dollars.

Marianne Byrd the Race Committee Coordinator said, "We have raised almost between nine and nine and a half million dollars for the hospital. We've also put together a discovery grant fund at children's hospital that our money's will go into to provide research money to cure diseases for children."

The tradition of the race is very important and brings many people coming back every year.

"Just the comradery, hanging out with everybody here. The rows, the crowd is the best. Just going around to all the different tailgates it's a big variety of a bunch of different people it's always a blast every year, it's a Southern tradition and that's what the best part of it is," said Zach Bell.

Fashion is also an important element of Steeplechase.

Hannah Trainer said "My hat was actually a last minute thing. I went and bought three different ones a few days ago and I ended up taking them all back and choosing this one instead."

Is Steeplechase all about tailgating or is it about the horses?

Lauren Moss said it's about the tailgating. "This is a tradition my husband and I have been coming out here for ten years and it's grown and grown into a group of friends and now we have about 200 friends that come and tailgate with us," said Moss.

Officials stepped up patrol again this year to make sure the event ended safely. Dozens of officers were on the field grounds making sure no one took the party to far.

Police also kept an eye on underage drinking.

"Often times children will come in here juveniles or even underage drinkers will come here they want to have a good time, we want them to have a good time but sometimes indulging in those spirits will get the better of them. So it is an issue we are really concerned with," said David Corman, Special Events Coordinator.

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