RTCA Seeks Nominations for White Horse Awards

This year’s ceremony scheduled for Nov. 1 at Churchill Downs.


A hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. There are heroes all around the horse-racing industry and the Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA) wants to recognize these selfless servants.

The Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA) is currently seeking nominees for our 16th Annual White Horse Awards (WHA). These awards are presented annually at the White Horse Awards program. This year’s program will take place Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Triple Crown Room at Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Ky., just prior to the beginning of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships being held at the same track. It is a way to recognize those unsung heroes of horse racing, whether their actions are headline-grabbing or the quiet and not-so-obvious kind of heroism.

Nominees are being sought for the following three awards:

•    White Horse Award: An award given to individuals who have done something heroic on behalf of human or horse;
•    Tribute to Excellence Award: A posthumous award given to an individual who has consistently demonstrated professional excellence and leadership in the horse racing industry;

•    Community Service Award: An award given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the welfare of racetrack chaplaincy ministries.

To submit a nomination for either the White Horse, Tribute to Excellence, or Community Service Awards, visit for a complete list of rules and selection criteria, as well as nomination forms.  The deadline for submission is September 14th, 2018.  For more information, please contact the RTCA National Service Center at (859) 410-7822.

More about the White Horse Award: The WHA was established in 2003 to recognize individuals within the horse racing industry for their acts of selflessness and bravery.  The most recent recipient was Angie Cheak who was instrumental in saving 43 Thoroughbreds that were abandoned in desperate conditions on a Kentucky farm.

More about the Race Track Chaplaincy of America: The overall mission of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA), through its Councils and Chaplains, is to minister to the spiritual, emotional, physical, social, and educational needs of those persons involved in all aspects of the horse-racing industry.

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Race Track Chaplaincy of America Founder Roberts Dies


Horace William “Salty” Roberts, founder of Race Track Chaplaincy of America, died April 7 in Hollywood, Fla., after a sustained illness. He was 85.

Roberts witnessed and experienced firsthand the needs of what he considered to be his family—the workers who care for horses on a daily basis on the backside of racetracks. Following a spiritual conversion, he began ministering to track workers in 1968. Roberts took the first step toward establishing the first recognized worship services on the backside of a Thoroughbred race track in 1970.

His efforts spread to other tracks and led to the establishment of the RTCA in 1972. From that early beginning, the RTCA today supports 43 chaplains ministering at 36 tracks and training centers throughout the nation.

“Salty had a real burden on his heart for the people that he worked with,” said long-time friend Pat Day, a Hall of Fame jockey and currently president of the Kentucky chapter of RTCA. “He eagerly shared that burden by establishing a ministry to serve them right where they worked and often lived—on the backside of racetracks.”

“Countless lives and generations to come have been and will be impacted by the Christ-centered work of Salty Roberts,” said Dan Waits, executive director of the RTCA. “We stand on his shoulders, and RTCA will continue to honor his legacy by carrying out the mission he established.”

“I never did become a top jockey or a leading trainer, but God has given me something better than all that,” Roberts once said. “He gave me the gift of salvation through his Son, and at the end of my life, when I hear him say, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant,’ I’ll know I’ve won my race. That’s the greatest honor I could ever receive.”

Roberts is survived by his wife Dallas, three sons, two daughters, nine grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.

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