Victoria Pendleton will be brought back to earth this weekend – eight days after her exhilarating experience when finishing fifth in the St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

The former Olympic cyclist, from Moreton, near Thame, defied her critics with a stunning display at Prestbury Park.

Pendleton was back riding out at Alan and Lawney Hill’s Oxfordshire stables on Saturday morning following her memorable afternoon aboard the Paul Nicholls-trained Pacha Du Polder.

And this Saturday, the 35-year-old will be back in the saddle at her local point-to-point racecourse in Kimble.

“It has been a really special experience,” she said.

“I watched the Festival last year, but at that point I didn’t even allow myself to think what might happen.

“To come back 12 months later and take part, I can’t explain how it feels.

“I must thank (owner) Andy Stewart for letting me ride Pacha Du Polder, who is the most amazing horse. He measured his stride so well and filled me with confidence.

“Without a horse of that nature this wouldn’t have been possible, so I’ll be forever grateful to Paul and Andy for that.

“I was in for first lot (on Saturday morning) and can’t get enough of it.

“There are things I need to practice and work on that hopefully I can put to good effect in the future.”

She added: “I think you have to really want to do this in your heart.

“It’s a sport with many, many lows and just a few exceptional highs.

“You have to really love what you do. It’s a tough old slog making it happen.

“I did allow myself a glass of champagne or two afterwards, went to bed and then got up for first lot.

“I’ll be riding in my local point-to-point at Kimble and then we’ll see how it goes from there.

“Hopefully Alan and Lawney will still have me as part of the team.”