When “RIP Sweet Girl” Makes My Stomach Turn

The CHRB says that Heza Valentine died at Golden Gate Monday, no other details yet. He was four and had been raced eight times, most recently Feb 26 at that same track.

Then this tweet from owner Jonathan Barnes Friday: “Yesterday was a difficult day on my journey as an owner. Our three-year-old ‘Miss Taken,’ owned in partnership with the great people at @WasabiStables, had to be humanely euthanized. RIP, sweet girl.”

Then, inevitably, the prayers and condolences:

“So sorry Jon. Few things harder to accept.”

“I’m so sorry Jonathan. we loved her so much 💔”

“I’m very sorry Jonathan as it must be a tremendous gut punch to you and the entire team. Sometimes the right thing to do is undoubtedly the hardest decision to make.”

“She was a very sweet girl. I loved watching her learn to navigate the world with one eye. Was very much looking forward to her next phase of training.”

“Very sorry for your loss. Been through it, it’s 💔. May your beloved filly rest easy. 🌈”

Sorry, but I find nothing more reprehensible than crying about something that you yourself are responsible for – bringing this animal into the world just to be enslaved and exploited for your monetary gain – and failing to acknowledge it.

Miss Taken (below) was actually only two, and she was being prepped for her first race. Sweet girl, yes, but poor girl is more fitting.

Subscribe and Get Notified of New Posts


  1. It’s moral depravity to exploit horses in this way. The “right thing” to these horrible people is to euthanize the horse that they put in harm’s way which caused the injuries to the horse. If they had any scruples, they would acknowledge that the RIGHT THING to do is to stop this abusive exploitation of horses for racing in the first place.

  2. These people know all too well the exceptional stress training poses for these immature horses. Their developing bodies and psyches are forced to endure outrageous demands. Then when they kill the horse they are heartbroken and the “condolences” pour in…
    And to add to this, the poor filly was “learning to navigate the world with one eye”
    The essence of all this is pure unadulterated cruelty!


  4. Notice nobody in the Thoughts & Prayers crowd bothered to ask Mr. Barnes WHY he had to have his sweet girl killed:
    Did she injure herself in her tiny, dark stall at Wasabi “Ventures”? Horses generally CANNOT THRIVE with a lack of socialization and movement, and it seems poor Miss Taken couldn’t “venture” anywhere.
    Or, maybe she suffered what the industry likes to call a “Training Accident” — which is just your run-of-the-mill, horror-show breakdown that baby thoroughbreds are finding so popular these days when they’re released (well, sorta) from their tiny, isolated boxes for their morning workouts. (How many bones did she break, Jonathan Barnes? Did she also lose her only remaining eye in the “accident”? Did she fall? Maybe injure, even paralyze, her rider? Are you having nightmares? Worried about getting sued? Contemplating ending your “journey” as an owner?)
    Those offering condolences on Twitter probably want to keep the details of Miss Taken’s death as hush-hush as Mr. Barnes does. And, since she was killed in West Virginia, they’ll no doubt be successful in that:(

  5. Of course he’s sorry, sorry that his ‘money-making machine’ has died, but don’t worry, he’ll just move onto another ‘victim’ and carry on regardless. I just hope he shows the same ’empathy’ when he loses a member of his close family….a ‘sweet girl’ DEAD before her life had even begun……

  6. These shallow sentiments are an insult to those of us who are devastated over the horses we truly did love and lost. Will any of these parasites have nightmares over their horse’s final hours like I do? Will any of these parasites feel a shattering in their chest that never goes away like I do? Will any of these parasites go to their horse’s stall looking for them before remembering they are gone like I do?
    There are no words to describe what it is like to lose your best friend, your baby, and that these exploiters and abusers would even pretend that they gave more than a passing thought to a horse they killed, like that horse was ever anything more than a payout, is beyond disgusting.

    • Reading your physical and psychological pain you are describing Rebecca, I have that same exact feeling about my old rescue dog,Basset hound Miss Lily. There was something the most special about her. Lily is never not in my thoughts, and in my heart, that literally hurts when I recall all the special looks and things she would do for ME. She even has contacted me two times since her passing. There is nothing like the bond between a beloved pet and their human. Anyone who supports horse racing and wants it to continue …is NOT a true lover or advocate of ANIMALS. When you love animals you PROTECT and truly love them!

    • I remember a while back when one of your horses died and you stayed out all night with her/him. I still think about that. How many would ever do that?? Alot of us know the pain the loss causes.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: