Cycling to gold medal-winning glory, riding in the Cheltenham Festival and a heroic attempt to climb Mount Everest are all part of Victoria Pendleton’s passion for adventure.
Now, this most illustrious of Olympians is set to appear at BETA International 2019, where she will share her past accomplishments and future challenges.
Victoria, who was made CBE in 2013, will attend the trade fair on Monday 21 January. She will be interviewed by Philip Ghazala at The Charles Owen Spotlight and enjoy a tour of the halls, meeting exhibitors and visitors.
One of Britain’s most successful athletes, Victoria won gold at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games for track cycling. She is also nine times world and Commonwealth champion. In 2015, three years after retiring from cycling, Victoria swapped saddles to become a jump jockey with the sole intention of competing at the Cheltenham Festival despite having never previously ridden a horse. She allowed herself only 12 months to prepare before successfully taking the challenge in her stride – coming fifth over a three-mile course with 22 fences in 2016.
Teaming up with Brendan Cole, Victoria delighted Saturday-night TV viewers of hit show Strictly Come Dancing as the pair tripped the light fantastic in a stylish attempt to salsa and tango their way to the top. Although the experience did not result in a trophy, it did highlight that Victoria is a great sport – no matter what the discipline.
Her recent attempt with Ben Fogle to conquer Mount Everest captured the nation’s imagination when she appeared on ITV’s Our Everest Challenge, which charted her effort to scale the huge and unforgiving mountain. Unfortunately, altitude sickness had a near-fatal effect on her and she followed medical advice to abandon her attempt on the summit.
“We are thrilled that Victoria is coming to the show,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “Her sporting career has been truly amazing and we have all been extremely impressed with her recent climbing challenge. She certainly has some stories to tell and we can’t wait to hear them. We are sure that Victoria will be given a warm welcome by everyone.”
BETA International is the leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. The 2019 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 20 to 22 January.