Australia’s Kristy Oatley Moves Into 2nd Spot in World Cup Western European League

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Kristy Oatley and Du Soleil. File photo © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

NEUMÜNSTER, Germany, Feb. 19, 2017–Kristy Oatley of Australia moved a step closer to an invitation to the World Cup Final in Omaha when she climbed to second place in the Western European League behind Isabell Werth of Germany.

The Germany-based Kristy said she was “very happy” with her 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding in the Grand Prix Freestyle at the World Cup event in Neumünster Sunday.

“I could use his energetic motivation today in a positive way,” she said of the ride that earned the Australian team Olympic partnership a score of 74.015 per cent for sixth place.

Kristy, a 37-year-old mother and four-time Olympian for Australia is seeking to qualify for the annual world championship in Omaha Mar. 27-April 2 in the Western European League, the most competitive of the four geographic zones.

In four starts–three of them in Western Europe and one in Central Europe that she won–Kristy has earned 55 points to move ahead of Great Britain’s Carl Hester who had been in second place behind Isabell before Neumünster. Four scores count toward qualifying, with only two more events to go, Gothenburg, Sweden and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.

Throughout the World Cup season, the duo have been at or near the top of the standings to keep them in the hunt for one of the nine starting places allocated to Western Europe.

Along the way, she and Du Soleil that has been at Big Tour for only 16 months, logged the second highest Freestyle score ever by an Australian, at Salzburg, Austria in December.

The highest was also by Kristy, 77.650 per cent on Quando Quando at Braunschweig, Germany in 2008.

A start for Kristy at Omaha would be her third World Cup Final, the two others being Dusseldorf, Germany in 2004 and Aarhus, Denmark in 2001.

And she will be the sole Australian.

The Pacific/Asia League that includes Australia and New Zealand selected its sole representative at a league final in Feilding, New Zealand earlier this month. No Australians competed there.