Australia’s Kristy Oatley Qualifies Du Soleil for World Equestrian Games Grand Prix Freestyle

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Kristy Oatley and Du Soleil competing at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

TRYON, North Carolina, Sept. 14, 2018–Australia’s Kristy Oatley qualified her Du Soleil for the World Equestrian Games Grand Prix Freestyle restricted to the top 15 combinations, posting what is believed to be the highest score by an Aussie for the Grand Prix Special Friday.

Kristy and the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding scored 74.605 per cent, a day after leading Australia to eighth place in the team competition but that also qualified the nation for a start at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Team mate Brett Parbery qualified Victory Salute for the freestyle at the WEG in Kentucky in 2010. He is competing here on DP Weltmieser.

Possible heavy rain from Hurricane Florence that hit the Carolina coast earlier Friday may lead to the freestyle being moved from its Sunday morning (local time) slot.

Kristy competed Du Soleil for Australia at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the World Cup Final in Omaha in 2017.

Kristy, 40 years old who lives in Germany, last qualified for the freestyle at an Olympics or World Games on Wall Street at the Sydney 2000 Games. She is believed to hold the record score for an Australian at all three Grand Prix levels.

Du Soleil was first competed by Kristy at small tour in 2015 then moved up to Grand Prix later the same year. She works with the former Australian team coach Ton de Ridder.

She said the horse is “handling everything really well” at Tryon where conditions have been hot and humid but the footing and stabling have been given high marks.