We have some sad news to pass along to you dear readers, as Race Track Chaplaincy of America (RTCA) founder Horace William “Salty” Roberts passed away at the age of 85.

Roberts first time organizing a worship service on a thoroughbred race track’s backside in 1970. That service spread and it led to the creation of the RTCA in 1972. It now counts 43 chaplains as part of its organization that minsters at 36 tracks and training centers around the country.

“Salty had a real burden on his heart for the people that he worked with,” said friend and Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day. Day is the current President of the Kentucky RTCA chapter. “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 RTCA Executive Director Dan Waits. “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,” said Roberts at one point in his life. “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.”

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