Victoria Pendleton is all smiles at Alan and Lawney Hill's stable on MondayPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
'Obsessed' Pendleton gears up for jumping
VICTORIA PENDLETON’S most epic sporting moments might have come in cycling but she has admitted to being as obsessed with racing as she was when she began her international career 13 years ago.
Eight months into her Betfair-sponsored Switching Saddles regime, the 35-year-old dual Olympic gold medal winner has put an embarrassing unseat in her most recent Flat race behind her and launched herself with gusto into the serious business of schooling over fences in preparation for a point-to-point campaign this winter.
As the next step on the road to the ultimate goal of riding in the Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham in March, Pendleton put six-time winner Sedgemoor Express through his paces over four obstacles at the Oxfordshire yard of Alan and Lawney Hill on Monday.
Victoria Pendleton schools Sedgemoor Express on MondayPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
“I’m more obsessed about this than I was about cycling. I dream about this,” she said.
“In the early days of my cycling career when everything was new and I was pulling on my GB jersey in the 2002 World Championships, I didn’t win any gold medals but I felt wow, this is exciting, the beginning of something.
“I loved it and that’s what this is like now. After a while in cycling there was so much responsibility, the pressure of a whole nation in 2012, and I wouldn’t wish that kind of pressure on my worst enemy - but this is fun times.”
Victoria Pendleton (left) has a hairy moment schooling Sedgemoor ExpressPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
On her two other starts in amateur company on the Flat, Pendleton finished second and 13th.
Do not miss Peter Thomas's full interview with Victoria Pendleton - and more photos from Edward Whitaker - in Tuesday's Racing Post. On iPad from 8pm on Monday