NEWS > Dressage
Posted by National Admin on 21/03/2017.

Behind the Stable Door - Kristy Oatley, on the road to Omaha

“Behind the Stable Door” is a new series focussed on the back story of riders and their horses that have enjoyed success in major events. 

Kristy Oatley is a household name in Australian Equestrian circles and she is proud to be our sole representative at the upcoming FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

Photo credit Jon Stroud Media

“I am completely over the moon, I never thought I would qualify through the Western European League and after competing with the world’s best all winter I managed to qualify fourth. It’s a dream come true.” Oatley said.

Despite being based in Germany for many years Oatley has lost none of her sunny Australian attitude and attributes the success she has enjoyed this season to her horse Du Soleil.

“It’s all thanks to having a good horse.  It’s a fairly new partnership and every time we compete we learn something new and find something out about each other.”

“He is an extremely honest horse who is always trying his best,  sometimes a little too much. He is very enthusiastic and constantly looking for reassurance also. Even though he has the confidence he is often asking me if he is doing things right. I have to have a lot of trust in him because he is very powerful and energetic and we really have to try and completely trust each other in a test.”

Whilst conducting the interview for ‘Behind the Stable Door’ from the back of Du Soleil prior to a training session, Oatley described her love for the horse that has become an all-time favourite.

“I saw him at a competition and fell in love with him straight away. He wasn’t for sale initially and the process of getting him took over four months.”

“His presence and the way he fills up the arena is a bit like when a good looking guy walks into the room.”

“I think, to put it in a nutshell, he is extremely like one of the first horses that I had in Germany called Oskar who I named my son after.”

“He’s not as big as all the other horses that I have had. He’s more like a pocket rocket that you can control a little bit better. That’s the advantage of having a smaller horse. All my other horses have been absolutely huge.”

Now aged 13, Du Soleil has competed at Grand Prix level for 1 ½ years and faces his biggest test yet at the FEI World Cup Dressage Finals that begin on March 29. 

Oatley says she is looking forward to the challenge but remains realistic.

“We have been training every day and getting there in one piece is the main focus now. “

“I think we are much more confident after having such a successful season behind us. It gives you extra motivation. He’s always on the ball. It’s performance on the day and they are animals. Anything can happen. If it does work out well that’s great and if it doesn’t then that’s the way it is.”

Whatever happens in Omaha, Oatley is just happy to have made it that far. Being there is enough and the experience will provide the pair with vital experience for future major competitions around the world.


Behind the Stable Door - Grace Kay, The Girl Can Ride

Behind the Stable Door - Rebecca Farrow big success in the ring

Behind the Stable Door - Kristy Oatley, on the road to Omaha

Behind the Stable Door - Clint Beresford, the boy from Bega

Other Top News