This is the question that torments the English since Victoria Pendleton, double Olympic champion (in 2008 the sprint and keirin in 2012) announced its commitment to the horse race. With the goal to win the race of Cheltenham, one of the largest races for amateur jockeys of the year, less than a year. In a country where the steeplechase is a tradition, the ambition of this 35 year old woman to conquer the peaks as quickly, largely orchestrated by online paris company divides.
Since retiring at night the London Olympics, Pendleton, also nine-time world champion, struggled to find an intense activity than it had been on a bike. “I was bored , she explained in an interview with Guardian in December 2015. When I was offered this project I was going to fly to New Zealand and had just 24 hours to think about it. I said, “As crazy as it sounds, I’ll do it!” “
“She seems like a lovely woman, but she is not able to ride”
Behind this proposal, there is above all the online site paris Betfair supporting sport, by an amount that could be around 200,000 pounds per year (259 000 euros), bought her horse, pays her trainers and advisers and even hired an advertising agency to manage the media campaign. In a word, Betfair has “recruited”. ” If Betfair had not arranged everything, I could never go that far ,” admits besides Pendleton. The “Queen Victoria” is yet mounted for the first time on a horse only in March 2015, although ” she was put on a pony as a child at a birthday party .” with the help of his coaches, Yogi Breisner and Paul Nicholls, the Englishwoman has gradually progressed and participated in its first races , after rising more than 50 different horses in training.
“An outstanding athlete”
His trainer Paul Nicholls: “Victoria is an exceptional athlete with a lot of will and determination. And although it is embarking on an incredibly difficult challenge, she has all the qualities to get there. At first I was quite skeptical, but I think today it is ready. Pasha Polder is the ideal horse for her. Finish fifth or sixth would be a great result. “
On February 19, she fell during a race at Fakenham, a minor fall but revived criticism. ” She seems like a lovely woman, but she is not able to ride. It will happen to her accident , then said John Francome, one of the best jockeys in history, winning 1,138 races in her career. She could have fallen at every hurdle. It must stop before getting really bad. “
These criticisms, Pendleton has never sought to ignore:” I am sure that many people have had to roll his eyes when they learned that I was going to and had to say: “It’s just a publicity stunt, she’ll never That’s ridiculous!” But you do not get on a horse and take a steeplechase for just a publicity stunt. It’s not like I asked before a horse smiling. “