Victoria Pendleton On this day in 2016, Betfair Switching Saddles ‘Grassroots’ Fox Hunters’ Chase took off on its first trip over regulation fences in Fakenham.

The then-35-year-old double Olympic cycling champion had never ridden before starting the sport less than a year ago and escaped injury after falling from nine-year-old Pacha Du Polder.

Pendleton was riding the Pacha Du Polder for the second time after being beaten in a photo finish on the same horse at Milborne St Andrew last January.

The 8-13 favorite of the three-mile race at Fakenham, the Paul Nicholls-trained gelatinous horse was lightly blocked by Carey Williamson’s Baltic Blue in the seventh act.

Both riders hit the ground, but were soon back on their feet, and Pendleton said: “Pacha Du Polder is so excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed every fence we worked on.

“I am very disappointed that I did not give him a fair chance. Luckily it was a favorite and a disappointing job for me.

Pendleton finished fifth on Pacha Du Polder at St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase. Cheltenham next March.

“Probably the greatest achievement of my life,” said Pendleton after the Cheltenham experience.

“I was overwhelmed – thank you to everyone who made this possible. I was honored.”

Pendleton won gold medals in cycling at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in sprint and in the keirin at the 2012 London Games.