NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Saturday is a full and rare day of horse racing as the 78th Iroquois Steeplechase takes place at Percy Warner Park.

A steeplechase superstar for years is Dwight Hall.

“How many years for me? First raced in 1960, stopped in 1986. That’s a lot of years,” Hall said.

Hall has been here 59 years total with a win as a jockey in the big race, the Iroquois, in 1977.

Just like then, what you’ll see here shows off the countryside of Nashville better than any event all year.

Percy Warner Park provides the beauty, 25,000 expected fans provide the atmosphere.

The atmosphere you’ll get depends on where you sit. Belle Meade high class for sure, a little lower likely too.

This year there will be more events than just the races sprinkled around the infield for young and older children.

In the end, it’s all about the horses. That’s how Hall was hooked at age 16 and never stopped admiring them.

“Found out in the seventh grade junior high that I was not gonna be a football player. I was too little and too slow, so here I’ve been ever since,” said Hall.

The Iroquois Steeplechase brings horses and people to Nashville from all over the world.

The Kentucky Derby gets billed as the most exciting two minutes in sports. Nashville’s races are a bit longer, but like Louisville last week, full of drama.

On a grey day in Music City, the boys from County Cork Ireland felt at home.

Trainers and riders that loaded horses into planes at Dublin’s airport to be here for race day. Their chance to share with you the beauty of the Iroquois Steeplechase.

“It’s a beautiful atmosphere, great and if you’re local and don’t come out, you’re missing something big,” said Gordon Elliott.

Elliott has three horses he’s trained to run, all with hopes for a victory.

None of the men came here from across the ocean to lose.

Opening ceremonies begin at noon with the first race at 1 p.m. The Calvin Houghlin Iroquois will begin around 5:30 p.m.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Feature Reporter

Terry Bulger has been bringing you stories of the people and places that make Tennessee unique and interesting on News4 since 1990. Contact Terry if you have an interesting community story for him to cover.

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