Having triumphed on two wheels, controversial champion cyclist Victoria Pendleton turned her attention to competitive action involving four legs in August 2015 and came second as an amateur jockey in the Betfair Novice Flat Amateur Riders’ Handicap at Ripon. Oxfordshire based and a gold medalist at European, World and Olympic levels as a cyclist, Pendleton – who has a line from The Smashing Pumpkins’ song Today tattooed on her right arm – has also appeared on Strictly Come Dancing and in Emmerdale. She has over 270,000 followers on Twitter and spoke about the importance of sport in education at the 2014 Conservative Party Conference.
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You can’t learn to ride in five minutes, let alone become a vaguely useful race rider ……!!
I have to say I rather admire her spirit and the fact that she did not cave in to her critics.
It’s the falls that will make her realise how dangerous a sport race riding is. She has been given armchair rides and will no doubt have a very experienced National Hunt horse when she starts point to pointing. I learnt from the bad horses more than I learned from the good ones. Let’s just hope the publicity that she is doing this for doesn’t leave her badly injured. You cannot buy experience no matter how much money Betfair throw at this project. An inexperienced rider only has to sit on and steer and hopefully not interfere too much with the horse that knows more than the jockey! I have seen many horses win despite the mistakes done by the jock on top!