When Alistair Schramm and Zero Degrees took the Racing Queensland sponsored Off The Track Thoroughbred award at The Saddlefitter Brisbane CDN, it completed the transition from ex-racehorse to FEI Grand Prix dressage horse for Sweeney.
Alistair Schramm is the younger brother of Australian international eventer Dominic Schramm, who is currently campaigning in the US; Dom recently finished second in a CCI4*S in South Carolina, and is set to start at the inaugural Maryland CCI5* with Bolytair B. Like his brother, Alistair, 23, is a dedicated and determined young athlete showing potential as both a rider and a leader in our sport.
Alistair acquired Zero Degrees, aka Sweeney, from Queenslander Suse Davis in 2012. At the time Alistair was looking for an eventer he could go on with and Sweeney already had the foundation work put in with several Preliminary dressage and 80cm showjumping runs under his belt and showing promise. In 2014, Alistair and Sweeney had several successful starts in Queensland then made the road trip from south-east Queensland to Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre in Victoria for the National Interschools Championships, where they took out the 80cm Eventing Championship.
The combination repeated the effort the following year at the 2015 Queensland Interschools Championships at Toowoomba. By this time Sweeney was showing genuine potential and a liking for dressage, so on the basis of Sweeney’s dressage performances, and for personal reasons, Alistair made the decision to focus their equestrian efforts on dressage. They both progressed quickly through the grades, and by the end of the 2015 competition season were competing EA Medium and FEI CDI-J Junior Rider.
The combination moved into the FEI Young Rider ranks in 2016 and generally put together respectable mid to high 60% scores and were always contenders to be reckoned with. In 2019 they stepped up to FEI CDN Under-25 Grand Prix classes and have continued to fair well. Last year, 2020, didn’t start well; Sweeney had colic and required surgery in February, so it was a quiet year for the pair. Their first outing for 2020 was in September at the Queensland Youth Dressage Championships at Toowoomba in the Grand Prix.
Highlights for the combination this year have been their results in the Under-25 Big Tour classes at the Barastoc Australian Youth Dressage Championships and The Saddlefitter Brisbane CDN, held at Queensland State Equestrian Centre in September, where they finished second to Eliza Cullen and Dobria de Jeu on both occasions.