Steve Hiatt, a horse van operator in Northern California, was named the recipient of the seventh annual Race Track Chaplaincy of America's White Horse Award Nov. 5 at Santa Anita Park.
The White Horse Award recognizes racing-related heroic acts on behalf of humans or horses. A luncheon was held to honor Hiatt and the other nominees, Judy Coover, Dick Tynan, Kim Warriner, Kirk Coles, Donna Hancock, and Sarah and Benjie La Rue.
Hiatt, a lifelong horse lover, drives horse vans for Hoofbeats Horse Transportation near Albany, Calif., which is not far from Golden Gate Fields. As part of his job, Hiatt will take critically ill or injured horses from the racetrack to University of California-Davis Veterinary Hospital. Often times, the lifesaving transports come in the middle of the night.
Hiatt also assists horsemen who experience mechanical break downs with a van or trailer full of horses. He performs many of these services for free.
“I am in awe,” said Hiatt. “I have been hauling horses since I was 15. I never thought I’d get recognized with an award for it. The other nominees are just as worthy, if not more. This is very special.”