Iroquois Steeplechase Race Commitee
Henry Hooker, Chairman
Beginning in 1941,with one year out for World War II, the Iroquois Steeplechase has been running continuously at Percy Warner Park on the beautiful race course inspired by Marcellus Frost and designed by Wiliam DuPont. The widely renowned event would not have endured without the guidance of Mason Houghland and Calvin Houghland, who between them lovingly put on the race for half a century. They combined the efforts of the foxhunters and volunteer horsemen with the cooperation and support of the Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation to create a great sporting spectacle that has become a springtime institution in our region.
For the race in 1981, Henry Hooker and George Sloan proposed to Alice Hooker, President of the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital Board, and to Calvin Houghland, Chairman of the Volunteer State Horsemen, the designation of the Children's Hospital as the charitable beneficiary of the race meeting. With their enthusiastic encouragement, this arrangement brought many additional talented, hard working and dedicated volunteers from the Friends of Children's Hospital who have enhanced many aspects of the event and won substantial support for their charity. Moreover, their efforts have helped the Race Committee to improve the course, the facilities, and the purses.
It would be long to tell the names of the many families associated with the Iroquois through recurrent generations, but many of their names appear in the lists elsewhere in this race program. The three mile weight for age race, culminating up Heart Break Hill, is a daunting challenge not easily won, and the names of the owners, trainers, and riders who have mastered the task read like an honor roll of American steeplechasing. The names of the volunteers who have made this race meeting so special for 65 years are no less to be honored.
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