Kristy Oatley & Du Soleil Set Australian Record Grand Prix Freestyle Score at Herning World Cup

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Kristy Oatley and du Soleil. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

HERNING, Denmark, Oct. 21, 2018–Kristy Oatley rode du Soleil to an Australian Grand Prix Freestyle record Sunday, breaking the decade-old mark set by the four-time Olympian on Quando Quando before the 2008 Beijing Games. The pair set an Aussie Grand Prix Special record at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina last month.

Kristy, based in Germany, posted a record score of 78.130 per cent in the World Cup Freestyle at Herning, Denmark, the first of 10 qualifiers in Western Europe for the final in Gothenburg, Sweden in April.

“Düse,” as she calls the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding, “was just fantastic today…worked with me to the fullest,” she told dressage-news.com.

“Still lots left in him! Very honored to have broken Quando’s 10-year-record!”

The mark set Sunday broke the record of 77.650 per cent that Kristy set on Quando Quando in Braunschweig, Germany on Mar. 6, 2008.

Kristy. who turned 40 years old in July and is coached by Ton de Ridder, the former Australian team coach, rode du Soleil at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the 2017 World Cup Final in Omaha, Nebraska as well as the Tryon WEG last month.

The pair was one of 15 combinations to qualify for the WEG freestyle but it was canceled because of heavy rains from a hurricane. The pair qualified after posting a record Australian score of 74.605 per cent in the Grand Prix Special and after leading Australia to eighth place in the team competition that quaified her nation for a start at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Du Soleil was first competed by Kristy at small tour in 2015 then moved up to Grand Prix later the same year.

Lyndal Oatley, her cousin and also based in Germany with her husband, Swedish Olympian Patrik Kittel, holds the Australian Grand Prix record of 72.800 per cent, set on Sandro Boy in Stockholm Nov. 28, 2015.