Victoria Pendleton has been given the green light! The thirty five year old Olympic cyclist has merely been riding for a year. She set out with the aim of riding in the Cheltenham Festival in 2016 and has just received confirmation that she will be able to reach her goal.
Victoria Pendleton is said to be looking forward to the challenge that she now faces. With little experience behind her she isn’t expected to finish on top, however the fact that she is deemed ready for her entry says plenty about the determined Jockey.
She has been quoted stating that her preparations for Cheltenham are much like those she endured at the Olympics:
“Being part of the Cheltenham is like being at the Olympics, by no means was this an easy decision to make and I have spent a lot of time thinking how I would handle this wonderful opportunity. There are lots of risks, but I feel I am capable of being part of the race.”
“If I get around and complete the course, it will be like winning a gold medal; it seemed so unrealistic at the beginning. I wouldn’t have made the decision without the support of the team around me and I would like to thank them and the jockeys who have publicly supported me.”
Paul Nicholls who trains Pendleton’s horse, Pacha Du Polder, and works closely with her, believes that she is capable of performing well but admits that a winner might be just out of reach:
“At the beginning, I was dubious, but from the start, Victoria’s enthusiasm and courage has been to the fore and her improvement month-to-month has been incredible. She is well ready for the challenge. Pacha Du Polder is the ideal horse. He is a super horse and a safe jumper.”
“We will discuss tactics next week. We need to ride him more patiently and take our time, but fifth or sixth would be a fantastic achievement.”
Author Lisa Wood
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