Of all the real world events they had to make sure was faithful to the girl’s respective racehorses, they had to adapt Silence Suzuka’s downfall. Suzuka’s performance in the Uma Musume version of the Tennoushou is similar to the real Suzuka’s race at the 1998 Tennoushou where the racehorse’s fatal injury was televised as he limped towards the finish line. After Suzuka was amping up her eventual turn towards international races, it felt like they were hinting that things wouldn’t go that smoothly, though if you looked up Suzuka’s bio, her encounter with Tennoushou in the anime would definitely be alarming enough to sound off the warning sirens that her dreams were meant to be cut short.
There is hope that the anime Suzuka will be able to recover at a quicker pace since Special Week’s encouragement is gearing up to be the motivation that Suzuka needs to recover at least some of the strength she had before the injury. That, and the real horse died some time after the race, so as long as anime Suzuka’s injuries are limited to just waiting until the leg recovers enough to get back in the ring like Grass Wonder, the writers of Uma Musume probably don’t have it in the books to make her injury even more tragic than it already is.
There is also a sense of optimism with the unity that is behind Suzuka as everyone from Team Spica and Rigel was horrified at Suzuka’s injury, going out of their way to send her flowers in the hospital. The winner’s circle for El Condor Pasa was solemn as she was fully aware that her victory came at such a steep price, and her passion for just being able to race with formidable opponents is a mindset that goes entirely against the idea of celebrating a win like this. I was more curious about what Hana’s feelings on the matter were like as she was formerly a pupil on Rigel, and probably feels personally responsible for Suzuka getting injured with Spica. The trainer didn’t answer his phone when she called, but it is something that will come into the fold when she sees Suzuka or the trainer next time.
Of the horse-girls that took Suzuka’s fall the hardest, however, Spe-chan’s friendship with Suzuka made it hard to watch her react to seeing her friend limping across the race track, and chase after her to make sure she didn’t fall to the ground. She was already trying to encourage her trainer to let her have another chance at a national derby after losing another time against Seiun Sky, but her priorities are shifted in a different direction now that the person she looked up to, idolized, and was close friends with has a career-damaging injury. Not just that, but because they both inspired each other to such a high degree, its even worse for Spe-chan to have heard every time Suzuka swore she would make it big on the international circuit only to see those dreams dashed. While Spe-chan’s eating habits had made her resort to eating her woes away, Suzuka’s injury will play a strong role in how Spe-chan shapes herself up to try and match the speed and caliber of her best friend who will have to put her ambitions overseas on-hold.