Kristy Oatley & Du Soleil Set Another Australian Record Grand Prix Freestyle Score

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Kristy Oatley and du Soleil. File photo. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

SALZBURG, Austria, Dec. 9, 2018–Kristy Oatley and her “true blue partner” du Soleil set an Australian Grand Prix Freestyle record in World Cup competition Sunday, the second time this year the Olympic and World Games duo have posted a new musical performance high mark.

Kristy and 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding she rates her best ever horse were awarded 79.330 per cent for a new Australian record, eclipsing the previous best of 78.130 per cent the pair scored in another World Cup event seven weeks ago. That in turn broke the decade-old mark of 77.650 per cent set by the four-time Olympian on Quando Quando before the 2008 Beijing Games.

The pair also hold the Aussie Grand Prix Special record of 74.605 per cent set at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina in September. Her cousin, fellow Australian Olympian Lyndal Oatley also based in Germany with her Swedish Olympic rider husband, Patrik Kittel, holds the Australian Grand Prix record of 72.800 per cent, logged on Sandro Boy three years ago.

Kristy, based in Germany, and du Soleil are the highest ranked Australian combination at No. 44 in the world. The performance of the team from Down Under at Tryon qualified Australia for a start at the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.

“Düse,” as she calls du Soleil, “was amazing” and scored high enough to place fourth despite cantering in the right half pass that the 40-year-old rider put down to her mistake.

“He just wants to go out there and give his all every time,” Kristy texted dressage-news.com. “A true blue partner!!!”

Du Soleil has, she said, “still lots more left in there.” Though she and Ton de Ridder, the former Australian team coach that she works with have not yet decided on the next competition.

In addition to the 2016 Olympics and the 2018 World Equestrian Games, Kristy and du Soleil competed at the 2017 World Cup Final in Omaha.

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

“I rate him as my best,” she said.

But added, “I just wish I could have Bolero and Quando again today with the knowledge I have now!”

She competed Quando Quando in the 2006 World Equestrian Games and the 2008 Olympics and Bolero was her mount in the open European Championships in Hickstead, England in 2003.