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Uma Musume Pretty Derby Character's Namesake Racehorse Passes Away

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

The horse girls of Uma Musume Pretty Derby are said to possess the spirits of (and share names with) famed racehorses. Unfortunately one of those horses passed away on Monday. The 15-year-old racehorse Vodka died due to laminitis, an inflammation of tissue in animals' hooves that can cause lameness, while stabled in Newmarket, England. Vodka, a mare, was in England to mate.

Vodka retired from professional racing in 2010 after an illustrious career on the circuit. She won her first G1 title during her debut year in 2006 and would become the third mare in history to win the Japanese derby in 2007. One of her jockeys, Hirofumi Shii, expressed shock over the horse's death.

"An irreplaceable horse,” he said. “We may never see the likes of such a horse again.”

Staff at the stable noticed something was wrong with Vodka's right hindlimb on March 10 and took her to the hospital. The hospital staff concluded there was fracture and the horse underwent surgery in order to recover. However, laminitis developed in both of Vodka's back hooves and the medical staff found there was no chance of recovery for the mare. She was euthanized on Monday.

At her retirement, Vodka had 10 total wins and 18 top-three finishes to her name. She earned over 1.3 billion ten (US$11.7 million) in prize money. The Japan Racing Association inducted Vodka into its Hall of Fame in 2011.

Vodka is survived her brood of racehorse children including Volare, Case by Case, Tanino Urban Sea, Tanino Frankel, and a filly birthed in January. She also lives on in Uma Musume Pretty Derby where she was voiced by Ayaka Ōhashi. The official Twitter account for the franchise commented on Vodka's passing on Wednesday.

On April 1, we received news of the issue with Vodka, who is an inspiration for [Uma Musume]. We would like to express our condolences to the concerned parties and sincerely wish the best regards for a great horse.

Since the Uma Musume Pretty Derby anime aired in 2018, two other of its star horses also passed away. Special Week passed away a few weeks after the anime's premiere at the age of 23 and King Halo passed away last month at the age of 24.

Source: Net Kaiba, Japan Times via Otakomu

Image: Flickr user kanagen [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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