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From zero to one hundred

 

Image courtesy of Stephen Mowbray Photography 2021

There’s a sense of symmetry to Zero Degrees thriving in the Sunshine State.

Now flourishing in the highly vaunted world of FEI Grand Prix dressage, the one-time Magic Millions yearling, who was once knocked down for $150,000 in the famous Gold Coast sales’ ring, never lived up to his billing on the racetrack after barrier trialling in Hong Kong as Sweet Win.

With connections ultimately deciding not to push on with his racing career, Zero Degrees found his way back to Queensland and has since enjoyed a rise through the ranks to now be competing at the highest level of dressage.

During last month’s The Saddlefitter Brisbane CDN at the Queensland State Equestrian Centre, Alistair Schramm and Zero Degrees finished second in the under-25 competition, while also walking away with the Off The Track Thoroughbred Award which was sponsored by Racing Queensland.

The result was far from unexpected, however, with Schramm and Zero Degrees forming a formidable partnership since coming together.

Earlier in the year, the pair also finished second in the Under-25 Big Tour class at the Barastoc Australian Youth Dressage Championships, while previously they were victorious at the National Interschools Championships.

While Zero Degrees’ bloodlines point to a racing career, as distinct to FEI Grand Prix dressage, he is now thriving in his new life.

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“It’s been a pretty awesome journey,” Schramm said.

“He’s pretty cheeky, he wants to be with you, he’s just a good bloke.

“When I first bought him, we did some preliminary dressage work and I did some eventing with him. He showed a little bit of promise in dressage so I decided to go in that direction.

“His trainability (is what impresses me most). He’s got a good work ethic, he tries really hard.”

With Zero Degrees enduring a setback last year which required surgery for colic, Schramm said it had been a long road to recovery for the horse affectionately known as Sweeney.

Following an initial three months on the sidelines, it took a further six months to slowly put him back to work.

“That was pretty rough,” Schramm said.

“All in all, it probably took the best part of 12 months.”

While Zero Degrees will now enjoy a break over summer, the pair are set to resume their exciting partnership in the New Year.