Before we begin, this is about the horse, not the anime character.

Earlier today, the Japan Racing Association (JRA) announced that racehorse Special Week passed away. He was 23.

Special Week (Racehorse)

By No machine-readable author provided. Goki assumed (based on copyright claims). [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Special Week was born in Japan on May 2, 1995. He was sired by Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence (who also sired Silence Suzuka) and dammed by Campaign Girl. Campaign Girl died shortly after foaling Special Week, and he had to be fed by hand by stable staff.

Through his career, he would go on to have a 10-4-2 record in the Japan Racing Association’s leagues, taking first place in the following events:

  • Kisaragi Sho (1998)
  • Hochi Hai Yayoi Sho (1998)
  • Tokyo Yushun (1998)
  • Kyoto Shimbun Hai (1998)
  • American Jockey Club Cup (1999)
  • Hanshin Daishoten (1999)
  • Tenno Sho (Spring) (1999)
  • Tenno Sho (Autumn) (1999)
  • Japan Cup (1999)

Through his career, Special Week managed to earn ¥1,092,623,000 ($10,013,866.85 USD) in winnings for owner Hiroyoshi Usuda.

Special Week became the inspiration for Umamusume: Pretty Derby‘s lead character of the same name. Azumi Waki plays the character in the show.

Uma Musume Character Visual - Special Week

Special Week

The Umamusume: Pretty Derby anime launched on April 1. Kei Oikawa (Outbreak Company, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO!) is directing the title at P.A. Works, with Yousuke Kabashima (D.Gray-man Hallow, Lord Marksman and Vanadis) filling the dual role of character designer and chief animation director. Masafumi “Pierre” Sugiura (Barakamon, Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru) and Akihiro Ishihara (Cygames) are working together to write the scripts and tackle series composition.

Sources: JRA News, Wikipedia (Special Week), Equineline