What is the Nakayama Daishogai?
Learn about Nakayama Daishogai and what kind of horses can compete in it. Find out how much the prize money is and the most notable horses in it.

The Nakayama Daishogai is one of the oldest and most prestigious steeplechase horse races in Japan. This is known as 中山大障害. It was established in 1934 for all local Thoroughbred horses. It was also originally named as Daishogai Tokubetsu before its name was changed into Nakayama Daishogai in the following year.


It was originally held twice every year during Spring and Autumn. However, this was only until 1999 where the Spring Nakayama Daishogai was renamed into Nakayama Grand Jump.


This is a Japanese Grade 1 race for three years old and older Thoroughbred horses. In order to qualify for Nakayama Daishogai, three-year-old horses need to weigh 61 kilograms while four-year-old and up needs to weigh 63 kilograms. However, there is an allowance of two kilograms for fillies and mares.


Additionally, the Nakayama Daishogai is an international steeplechase jump race. This means that foreign-bred and trained horses are allowed to compete. While there is no specified limit as to how many foreign horses can join the tournament, the maximum number of horses competing annually is 16.


Purse of the Nakayama Daishogai


The Nakayama Daishogai race has one of the highest prize money or purse in steeplechase races in Japan. This is because it has a purse of ¥142,660,000 or approximately $1,240,522 total prize money. This is similar to how much money a horse, jockey, and trainer can win in the Nakayama Grand Jump.

The prizes for the horses that will finish in the top ten are the following:



Amount to Win

First Place


Second Place


Third Place


Fourth Place


Fifth Place


Sixth Place


Seventh Place


Eight Place


Ninth Place


Tenth Place




The Race Track of Nakayama Daishogai


The Nakayama Daishogai race is usually held in late December at the Tokyo Racecourse in Fuchu, Tokyo, Japan. The Thoroughbred horses run a distance of 4,100 meters or 2.56 miles on a turf surface race track.

There are various steep hills and inclined land that the horses need to go through in the racecourse. They also have to jump over a ditch with water, hedges, and brush fences before they reach the finish line.


Most Notable Horses of Nakayama Daishogai


Since the Nakayama Daishogai was established, there have been various horses that finished in first place a couple of times. The following are the horses since 1999 that won first place more than once: King Joy and Oju Chosan.


King Joy

King Joy is a local Thoroughbred horse that joined the Nakayama Daishogai and won twice in 2008 and 2009. He was also one of the oldest horses that won the tournament. This is because he first won when he was a six-year-old stallion.


Oju Chosan

Oju Chosan is one of the most notable local-bred and trained Thoroughbred that won the Nakayama Daishogai twice in 2016 and 2017. She finished the course in 2017 within four minutes and 36 seconds.


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