From Screen to Track: The Real-Life Horses Behind Popular Anime Horse Racing Characters

Anime Horse Racing Characters

Horse racing is a beloved sport that has been around for centuries and has garnered quite a following over time. While real-life horses are at the forefront of the sport, many people have become fans of anime horse racing characters. These characters are often designed to be larger than life, with unique personalities and quirks that make them stand out from their real-life counterparts. However, many people do not realise that some of these characters are based on real-life horses that have made their mark in the racing world.

This blog will explore the fascinating world of anime horse racing characters and the real-life horses that inspired them. We will delve into the background of these horses and learn about their racing careers and how they came to be portrayed in anime. By examining the real-life horses behind popular anime horse racing characters, we can gain a deeper appreciation for both the sport of horse racing and the creativity of anime creators.

So, let’s jump into the world of anime horse racing and learn about the real-life horses that have inspired some of our favourite characters!

Pretty Derby

“Pretty Derby” is a popular anime series that features a group of horse girls who attend a training school to become racehorses. The characters are based on real-life racehorses, and their stories and personalities are inspired by their equine counterparts. For example, Special Week, the series’s protagonist, is based on a racehorse of the same name who won the Japanese Derby in 1998.

Debut | Umamusume: Pretty Derby

One notable difference between the anime characters and their real-life counterparts is that the characters in Uma Musume: Pretty Derby are portrayed as human-like, able to talk and interact with humans. The anime does a great job of capturing each horse’s unique personality and quirks, making the characters feel distinct and memorable.

Another character, Silence Suzuka, is based on a racehorse who won the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) and the Shuka Sho (Japanese Fillies’ Triple Crown) in 2016. These horses had successful racing careers and made their mark in Japanese racing history.

For horse racing fans, the Cheltenham Festival race times, a major event in the UK’s calendar and the closest in terms of time, will begin on March 14th, 2023. Cheltenham Festival is a steeplechase event on a turf track, while the characters in the anime primarily race on dirt tracks.

Gallop Racer

Gallop Racer is a popular video game series featuring various horse racing characters inspired by real-life horses. One of the most popular characters in the series is Winfried, who is based on a racehorse named Winx. Like her real-life counterpart, she is a Thoroughbred racehorse with impressive speed and agility.

Players can train and race Winfried to compete against other horses worldwide in the game. The character’s popularity is a testament to Winx’s success as a racehorse and her impact on the racing world.

In real life, Hugh Bowman rode the superstar horse for her career, and Chris Waller coached her. She is best known for her astounding four-year streak of 33 straight victories, which includes 25 Group 1 victories. Winx is widely considered one of the greatest racehorses of all time, and her success has inspired many horse racing fans worldwide.

Accurate Representation of Horses in Anime

One similarity is that the anime and the game do a great job of showcasing horses’ various breeds and unique abilities. From the speedy Thoroughbreds to the powerful Quarter Horses, each breed is represented accurately and authentically.

Both Umamusume: Pretty Derby and Gallop Racer do a great job of portraying horses and horse racing. While the anime takes some creative liberties regarding character design and personality, it showcases the excitement and thrill of horse racing. Gallop Racer, on the other hand, focuses more on the technical aspects of horse racing, such as breeding and training.


These characters are great examples of how anime and video games can incorporate horse racing into their storylines. While the portrayal of the horses may differ, both do a great job of capturing the essence of the sport and the unique abilities of each breed of horse. Whether you are a fan of anime or video games, both of these series are worth checking out if you have an interest in horse racing.

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