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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Race Track Chaplaincy of America Announces Recipients of White Horse Awards

Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 White Horse Awards. The selection committee had a difficult decision to make, as this was a record year for nominations of deserving individuals.

The Community Service Award will be presented to Mr. William Gotwals of Brook Ledge Horse Transportation. The work ethic and focus on providing excellent service that has brought Brook Ledge to the forefront of the industry is the same as that which guides Mr. Gotwals personally. He has been a faithful supporter of RTCA and other charitable organizations over the years. While he prefers to serve “silently”, we wanted to take this opportunity to say “Thank you” to Mr. Gotwals for his faithfulness to our ministry and to the broader community which he so humbly and generously serves.

The Tribute to Excellence Award will be presented in memory of E.W. “Buddy” Johnston of Old English Rancho in Sanger, CA. In addition to serving 21 years as director and president of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association (CTBA), Mr. Johnston was inducted into the CTBA Hall of Fame and also presented with Hollywood Park’s Laffit Pincay Jr. Award bestowed upon an individual “who has served the sport with integrity, extraordinary dedication, determination and distinction.” Buddy Johnston passed away in his sleep on the morning of May the 5, 2015 just one day before his 78th birthday. He is survived by his wife Judy, daughters Darlene Johnston Smith and Mary Johnston Hilvers, five grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Finally, the White Horse Award for heroism on behalf of human or horse will be presented to two companies whose teams banded together to save the lives of more than 200 horses in California. Bob Hubbard Horse Transportation of Colton, CA and KC Horse Transport of Atascadero, CA. are typically rivals, but in the light of news that areas of the San Gabriel Valley were in the direct path of this summer’s wildfires, that rivalry was cast aside. The new team used seven trucks, each holding 15 horses, and drove the refugees away from the fires to waiting farms and tracks with barns ready to receive them. Two drivers came back early from vacation and several others slept in their trucks at Santa Anita Park awaiting their calls to action. Race Track Chaplaincy of America wishes to acknowledge the teams from Bob Hubbard and KC Horse Transport for their ability to rise above their businesses and act together on behalf the horses they love.

This year’s White Horse Awards Luncheon will take place on Thursday, November 3, at the Embassy Suites in Arcadia, California, just prior to the beginning of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships being held in the same city. Along with the award presentation, events will include a buffet luncheon, live and silent auctions, special music, Master of Ceremonies Jonathan Horowitz (Track Announcer – Arapahoe Park), and guest speaker Janet VanBebber (Chief Racing Officer – AQHA). Make your reservations to attend the White Horse Award Luncheon by visiting


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 recipients include an outrider who rescued a horse from an infield lake at Los Alamitos and a young man who rescued a fellow jockey when her horse suddenly collapsed at the end of a race, trapping her beneath it. For many people in the horse world, events like these are “just another day at work,” but RTCA wishes to recognize these heroic acts of love. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.” John 15:13 (NIV)

More about the Race Track Chaplaincy of America - The overall mission of the RTCA, through its Councils and Chaplains, is to make disciples for Jesus Christ through teaching, preaching, and ministering 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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