Burghley first-timers: meet Dominic Schramm and his powerhouse ride with a big personality

  • US-based Australian eventer Dominic Schramm will be aiming to add his name to the list of international riders who have found Burghley a happy hunting ground when he makes his debut at the Lincolnshire CCI5*.

    The 32-year-old rider will ride the Dutch warmblood Bolytair B on his first crack at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (4 to 8 September).

    “I’ve been chipping away, like everyone else, trying to build a string of horses and I was really lucky to get the ride on ‘Boly’,” Dominic tells H&H, adding he found out the horse got his stable name as a foal because he was small and tubby.

    That little foal bloomed into a 17.2hh powerhouse with a healthy dollop of personality.

    “I got the ride on him as he was a bit of a handful — he is a big, strong horse and after about four months together we started to get on the same page,” explains Dominic. “He is one of these horses who keeps getting better and better and rising to the challenge. He is big and powerful and when that is funnelled into something constructive, he is an incredible athlete.”

    Owned by the Naked Horse Eventing syndicate, the 13-year-old gelding (by Polytair) has an impressive string of international results on his CV. These include several top-10 finishes at three-star (now four-star) events and he also completed his first CCI5* at Kentucky in April.

    Dominic admits he was a little disappointed to pick up cross-country faults, so is heading to Burghley “looking for a bit of redemption”.

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    Originally from Queensland, Australia, Dominic worked as a stable rider for Chris Burton for a while before relocating to the US in 2010. He also spent a stint with Paul Tapner in the UK and is looking forward to catching-up with old friends as well as focusing on the event.

    “You spend your whole childhood thinking about going to events like Badminton and Burghley and then to see your name on the start list and realise it is actually happening is a bit surreal,” he says, thanking his wife, Jimmie, groom Emily Lehman, the horse’s owners as well as all his supporters.

    “I’ve spent a lot of time watching past Burghley’s on YouTube and Tim Price’s winning round from last year to get some tips.”

    The pair have both arrived in the UK and are 32nd to go — between Francis Whittington (Evento) and Caroline Powell (On The Brash) — which will mean their dressage is Thursday afternoon.

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