If you want to trace the lineage of steeplechasing, you have to go back to 1752 and Ireland.
That's when two Irish foxhunters agreed to a four mile horse race between two churches.
The churches were chosen because their steeples were the most prominent and tallest landmarks in County Cork, Ireland. So the race became known as the chase to the steeple. What we don't know is who won.
The sport galloped quickly across Europe and made its way across the pond in the 1800s.
In 1881, Iroquois became the first U-S horse to win the English Derby. General William H. Jackson bought the horse and made his home at the Belle Meade Stables.
In 1941, the first Iroquois race took place at Percy Warner Park. Now its considered a springtime institution in Middle Tennessee. Money from the annual Steeplechase event benefits the Monroe Carrell, Jr. Childrens Hospital at Vanderbilt.