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Steeplechase again set to saddle up for Children’s Hospital

Apr. 9, 2015, 8:47 AM

This year’s Iroquois Steeplechase is set for Saturday, May 9, at Percy Warner Park. (photo by Steve Green)

Nashville and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt are gearing up for another year of one of America’s premier horse racing events, the Iroquois Steeplechase, now in its 74th year.

The Iroquois Steeplechase draws more than 25,000 spectators who come out to support the event, which benefits Children’s Hospital. Since being designated the official charity of the Iroquois Steeplechase in 1981, Children’s Hospital has received nearly $10 million from the event proceeds. The race is set for Saturday, May 9, at Percy Warner Park.

Bill Russell, M.D.

Bill Russell, M.D., director of the Ian M. Burr Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, will serve as an honorary co-chair to represent Children’s Hospital. He was selected in recognition of his contributions to research and the clinical care of children with endocrine disorders.

“I’m honored to serve as honorary co-chair of this year’s Iroquois Steeplechase,” said Russell, a Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Pediatrics. “Since moving to the Nashville area in 1990, I’ve seen the extensive impact that the partnership between the Iroquois and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital has had on the community and in the lives of so many children and their families.”

Russell is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Harvard Medical School. He trained in pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to his time at Vanderbilt, Russell was on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Serving as this year’s child ambassador for Steeplechase is one of Russell’s patients, Winston Hovis, a 10-year-old fourth grade student who has type 1 diabetes. Winston has become an advocate for children at his school who have been newly diagnosed with diabetes.

On race day, gates open at 8 a.m., and the first race starts at 1 p.m. A designated family area also offers free games and activities for children younger than 12 who are accompanied by a parent.

For more information on the event or to buy tickets, visit

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