In Action


Evangeline Downs Chaplain Ray Bartram

The AQHA held their Racing Conference at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, Louisiana from November 6-7 with meetings and galas and a full weekend of Quarter Horse championship racing. I drove over on Thursday Nov. 6th from Dallas, Texas and was joined by RTCA President Chaplain Waverly and his son Trent who drove over from Houston, Texas on their way back to the Fairgrounds that will restarting racing on November 14th.

We used the opportunity to visit with Chaplain Ray Bartram and were disappointed not to be able to visit with his lovely wife and co-ministry partner- Lynn, who was battling a illness and had to rest. We walked the grounds with our Chaplain and visited in the jock room where Chaplain Ray lead the prayer. Chaplain Waverly stayed behind at the dinner area to lead the opening prayer for the conference as Chaplain Ray and I drove around the muddy track that was drying up from a late rainstrom to meet the starter gate crew and give a prayer for their safety as well as for all the horsemen and horses for the evening races.

The crew was very respectful and appreciative of our chaplain as he lead them in prayer. We spent the rest of the night mingling with Quarter Horse people at the BBQ dinner being held in the outdoor pavilion. We had a interesting time in discussion with a seller of vetenerian supplies about the book of Revelations.

Chaplain Waverly spent the next day attending sessions and talking with people. In the afternoon session we did a presentation on the RTCA and a update on the RTCA White Horse Riders and the desire of the RTCA to be a part planning a National Horse Industry Disaster Response plan so that a co-ordinated crisis response can bring to bear all the resources and talents of the horse industry. We also talked about the RTCA Quarterhorse Task Force that many leaders of the QH racing community were a part of, and that we appreciated the support we received from the QH racing world. After the session we talked to people who had questions or comments on the RTCA and also had a meeting with a man who was representing an racing association that operates in Indiana tracks and how he wants to give support to the chaplaincy program in Indiana!

God arranged for a special time at dinner on Friday night with a great couple in the Lord- J.E. Jumonville and his wife, Bunny! I never experienced 4 hours go back so fast as we set in the clubhouse and talked about the RTCA and ministry opportunities and were introduced to many QH people and just had a great time of fellowship and brotherhood!

It was a fast paced 48 hours of meetings, speaking, praying, and fellowshipping as I got up on Sat morning to drive back 410 miles to my home. I was thankful to the Lord for allowing me to spend time with Chaplains Ray and Waverly, and represent the RTCA and be a part of "seed planting and ministry vision casting" opportunities. I will be following up with Trey Buck of the AQHA on how to bring them into the Disaster Planning and we already have commitments from Lonnie Powell of the National HBPA!

Please keep the RTCA QH Task Force in your prayers and all the plans under way for the QH community to help reach out in the name of the Lord!

Blessings- Edward Smith