‘Terra Was Riding With Us’: The Emotional Story Of Juvenile Filly Terra’s Angel

by | 12.17.2017 | 3:18pm
Jockey Sasha Risenhoover celebrates after Terra’s Angel's victory in the $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf, Monday, September 4, 2017 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA.

Jockey Sasha Risenhoover and owner/trainer Terry Eoff will team up once again with the juvenile filly Terra's Angel in Sunday evening's Trapeze Stakes at Remington Park. The Drosselmeyer filly gave Risenhoover her first win in California in the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes in September, but there is a bigger reason that the ride will be an emotional one for the team, reports TVG.

Terra's Angel, a $7,500 purchase at the Keeneland September sale, is named for Eoff's late daughter. Terra Eoff had developed cancer and then gone into remission, but the cancer returned in 2016.

“This time it came back a little more aggressive, and the doctors weren't giving her much time,” Eoff said. “For Christmas, I told her to come out to the barn. I told her ‘I'm going to name this horse after you, and I'm going to give you a little piece of it too.'”

Risenhoover began to ride the filly in her morning workouts in mid-2017, and the two developed a strong connection.

“I didn't realize she was named for Terry's daughter,” the jockey said. “I know what its like to grow up without a mother, and to know that that was about to happen to (Terra's three children)… She told me all she wanted was for the filly to win a race. It breaks my heart, and it just set a fire underneath me.”

In her first start, Terra's Angel won a maiden special weight event at Lone Star Park by three lengths. Four days later, Terra Eoff passed away.

When Risenhoover rode Terra's Angel to victory at Del Mar, she recalls feeling something special: “When we turned for home and she just took off again, this feeling came over me. It was like we were being carried, like Terra was riding with us.”

Watch the video for the full story:

  • StrideBig

    I’m headed to RP shortly to catch the Springboard mile and the Useeit Stakes. Hopefully I’ll get s glimpse of this filly as well. Beautiful and sad story wrapped into one.


  • Ida Lee

    I’m preparing myself to lose my mom and it’s overwhelming sometimes but I’ve had my mom for 92 years and we’ve both had a lifetime with each other. These children are so young and to lose their lovely, young mother like this is heartbreaking…..I can see where a beautiful and talented young filly can bring a smile to your face and I’m so glad they have Terra’s Angel to help the family through a very trying time…..I send my condolences to the family and congratulations to Terra’s Angel on her wonderful win….

    • Cuffdaddy

      Sorry to hear that Ida, she raised a very positive and caring daughter. I do not know you but can tell from all your posts!!

      • Ida Lee

        Thank you so much for your kind words….I’m one of the luckiest people in the world….I have wonderful and caring family, friends and pets….all give me great support and let’s not forget the horses….when things get bad and I need a shot in the arm, I watch my favorite races or go through the scrape books I have on my favorite horses …. and then there are people like you who take the time to send me such a sweet message …..thanks again…

        • Cuffdaddy

          It is comforting to know that there are people of great quality like you and others on PR in this changing world. I find myself asking how you always remain so upbeat and positive and it has me efforting to do the same. Finding that on Horse Forum is even more strange.

          Once again, my thoughts go out to you and your family.

          • Ida Lee

            The thing we all have in common and that which connects us all….the love and caring we have for that beautiful creature….the Horse ….

  • Kathy Young

    “The media could not be played”–at least that’s the message on my screen–but I’m sure it is a touching story. Great picture of jockey and the horse, too. God bless.

  • Chrissy Gentry


  • Auntie Judy aka JAG

    Tears! I realized I have no problems in my life that can’t be fixed.
    There is more than one angel of Terra! Beautiful daughter; beautiful horse.

  • FlyingDutchman

    She was trained by Dallas Keen when she raced in SoCal, didn’t realize Eoff took over duties when she went back to the midwest. Great story overall.

  • Big G

    to those that dont believe in the horse god’s ,, this story says it all ,, may the power of God always be with you all..

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