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How Australia Missed Start at Dressage World Cup Final Under FEI Rules

Australia’s request for European-based Kristy Oatley to go to the World Cup Final this week was turned down by the International Equestrian after two combinations Down Under that qualified but passed on the event because of high cost and travel that would be gruelling for the horses.

The FEI cited rules that prevented Kristy and her Du Soleil from being invited to Gothenburg, Sweden. She and the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding competed for Australia at the 2016 Olympics and the 2018 World Equestrian Games to qualify the country for a team start at Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The duo also competed at the 2017 World Cup Final in Omaha and currently holds Aussie record scores for the Grand Prix Special and the Freestyle.

Living in Germany, Kristy declared her intention to compete in the Western European League. She and Du Soleil competed in two qualifiers, Salzburg, Austria and Herning, Denmark, placing fourth in both to earn a total of 26 points to rank 21st.

Australia holds a Pacific league final that was won by Rozzie Ryan on Jarrah R with Holly Cutler on Diva Royale runner-up. The round trip cost for a horse is well above A$50,000 (US$45,500/€35,200). The organizer pays 20,000 Swiss francs/A$28,159 for a horse making the two-way journey from Australia to continantal Europe followed by a 12-hour road trip to Gothenburg.

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