Pendleton 1Olympic cycling’s golden girl, Victoria Pendleton returned to the saddle today (23 June) to claim first place in the Countryside Alliance’s charity race at Newmarket. 

Victoria, who raced to fifth place in the Foxhunters at Cheltenham earlier this year as part of Betfair’s Switching Saddles Challenge, had not been back on a racecourse until today when she joined seven charity riders for the race which opened the Newmarket Countryside Race Day. 

Victoria, who was riding Royal Etiquette trained by Lawney Hill, said: “It was amazing to win here today and to be asked to take part in the race. I thought my season was over!


“I raced my own horse in three point-to-points following Cheltenham then took the decision to let her have a rest in the field, so it was lovely to be back racing today. I hope the charity money raised will help many people access the countryside through The Countryside Alliance Foundation (TCAF) charities.”


TCAF administers three charities: Casting for Recovery – which offers healing fly fishing retreats to ladies who have, or are recovering from, breast cancer, Fishing 4 Schools which offers short educational angling courses to children and Falconry For Schools, which brings the world of the falconer into the classroom.


The other seven riders taking part in the race were all raising money for TCAF and can still be sponsored at

Chief executive of the Countryside Alliance Tim Bonner thanked all the riders who took part in the race and the supporters who helped make the day such a success.