Izzy Palmer on Re-selection, winter training and 2017 plans!

2017 is here and since my last blog, quite a bit has happened! 

Towards the end of 2016 I went for World Class Podium Potential selection trials which I was rather nervous for because after learning so much in the 2 years of being on the programme, I really wanted to be re-selected for another 2 years of opportunity, learning and development.

I started competing Touchdown M, who also belongs to Sophie Wells, my mentor and trainer. I love riding him, he’s very talented and teaching me a lot, and I’m very grateful to Sophie for the opportunity and all her help. During November, we went out and completed our qualifications for the Gold para Winter championships on both horses, it was very close with them 0.3% apart, both on 76%!


At the start of December I sat my mock GCSE’s, and after what seemed like a very long wait I found out that I had been re-selected onto the Podium Potential squad for the 2016-2018 cycle. I am extremely happy and grateful, it’s a real honour to be part of such a fantastic programme. We had our first squad session at the beginning of December. I took both Noki and Touch and it was great to be able to run through and get feedback on the new tests for 2017. The first challenge of the year!


Over Christmas and New Year, we have been training hard for the year ahead. It was nice to be able to just ride and not have to go to school! But back to school now, getting ready for GCSEs which are getting scarily closer by the day! In a couple of weeks time, I am riding in a demonstration at the British Dressage Para Coaching Symposium. I’ve only ever done something like this once so am very excited to have the opportunity. This year I will also be competing Touchdown alongside Noki, we have spent time really getting to know each other and I am delighted to be competing him as well. I’m sure he’s excited too as he loves his work!

January is an important time of year in terms of planning and a quieter time for competing, ahead of summer qualifiers which start in February.  This year particularly is going to take a lot of good planning, I will be juggling competing and training 2 horses with revising and sitting my GCSE exams in May and June which will come around very quickly!

I’m really looking forward to the year ahead with lots of new opportunities, learning experiences and challenges.

Happy new year!