A hero is a person admired for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. There are heroes throughout the horse racing industry and the Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA) recognizes some of these selfless servants annually through the White Horse Awards. Established in 2003, the White Horse Awards shows appreciation to these individuals for acts of selflessness, bravery, and dedication.
This year’s honorees are as follows:
2023 RTCA White Horse Award – The winner of this year’s White Horse Award is David Pope. The story begins when Matt Koch (Shawhan Place Farm Manager) learned that a friend and fellow marine he had served with (Chris Kilpatrick) was in desperate need of a kidney transplant. Not being a match himself, Matt shared a Facebook post about the need. After attending a church service where the message was about “meaningful giving,” David read the Facebook post the next day, and he took the initial step to see if he might be a match. At each stage of testing, it was confirmed that David was indeed a perfect match. So, in the fall of 2022, David made the decision to donate his kidney to a total stranger. It was a successful operation, and both men are doing well today.
2023 RTCA Community Service Award - Dan Fick has a tremendous legacy in horse racing. Dan has served as either a Board Member, Director, or other leadership capacities for numerous organizations, including the Jockey Club, American Quarter Horse Association, various state Racing Commissions, Winners Federation, Groom Elite, Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, and many others. He has been an exceptional steward, Director of Racing, or Racing Secretary at several tracks across the country, and was instrumental in establishing the Racing Officials Accreditation Program. But throughout his storied career, Dan has kept the Chaplaincy close to his heart. Dan has served the Chaplaincy faithfully for decades, helping to craft the organization. Having served on the RTCA National Board as President, Dan has reached Director Emeritus status with the organization. Most recently, Dan served as the Council President for the Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy.
Dan will receive the RTCA Community Service Award at this year's Global Racing Symposium Awards Luncheon.
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