The Award will be given to the backstretch or racing farm worker judged to have performed the most heroic act on behalf of human or horse. It includes a cash prize, special edition White Horse Statue and other donated gifts. Several nominees will be present at Santa Anita during Breeders' Cup week and available to the press. They will also have a race that week named in their honor.
Early nominees include groom Charlie McKay who entered a burning Woodbine Racetrack barn to save the lives of at least six thoroughbreds; and Roosevelt "Heavy" Robertson, a Philadelphia Park groom and paddock valet who pulled to safety a woman trapped in a burning auto.
"The award is a wonderful idea," said D.G. Van Clief Jr., president of Breeders' Cup Ltd. and vice chairman of the NTRA. "I think it will become a point of pride for a group of unsung heroes who live and work in racing 24-hours a day, seven days a week."
The winner will be elected by members of the White Horse Fellowship, a group of racing-related organizations and individuals who financially support the RTCA. Kenny and Lisa Troutt, the co-owners of WinStar Farm, kicked off the White Horse Award last summer with a $100,000 donation.