Paris 2024 | The Netherlands has made strides in eventing – the triathlon of equestrian sport

Paris 2024 | The Netherlands has made strides in eventing – the triathlon of equestrian sport

Text: Rick Helmink/

What? Eventing
Where: Parc de Versailles
When: July 27-28-29 / dressage/cross-country/jumping
Where to see: Eurosport & HBO Max
Dutch participants: Janneke Boonzaaijer, Sanne de Jong, Raf Kooremans and Elaine Pen (reserve rider)
Country competition favorites: Great Britain, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, France
Favorites individually: Rosalind Canter (Great Britain), Laura Collet (Great Britain), Tom McEwen (Great Britain), Boyd Martin (Australia), Michael Jung (Germany), Tim Price (New Zealand), Jonelle Price (New Zealand), Lara de Liedekerke

During the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Netherlands did not have a team, but now the team qualification has been achieved at the 2023 European Championships. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the Netherlands last had an eventing team at the start – although there were second individual riders in Tokyo – and that team finished sixth in the team competition.

Top 8 ranking is the ambition

The ambition to finish at least in the top 8 as a country is there with the team of Janneke Boonzaaijer and ACSI Champ de Tailleur (and their own reserve horse I’m Special N NOP), Sanne de Jong with Enjoy, Raf Kooremans with Crossborder Radar Love and reserve combination Elaine Pen with Divali. The Dutch equestrian federation would be very happy with a sixth place, like in Rio.

National coach helps to secure qualification

In order to secure the qualification, the KNHS even decided to lend a helping hand to national coach Andrew Heffernan by letting him ride at the European Championships. That succeeded. Now there is a strong team with a number of special stories.

Paris 2024 | The Netherlands has made strides in eventing – the triathlon of equestrian sport

Tokyo 2020 | Janneke Boonzaaijer during the dressage part of eventing

Sanne de Jong starts with a horse bred by her parents

Among other things, the story of Sanne de Jong who, with Enjoy, bred at home by her parents, went all the way from saddle-breaking to the Olympic Games. “That is very special. I saddle-broken her myself when I was 15-16, we went through everything together, I won the five-year-old championships in Ermelo with her, rode my first World Championship for young horses a year later, then the first Nations Cups and senior championships and now my first Olympic Games.”

Raf Kooremans

Or that of Raf Kooremans with Crossborder Radar Love, who was previously ridden by Merel Blom, then by youth rider Sterre van Houte and is now going to the Games with Kooremans. And who, by the way, just made it with his MER qualification in the last weekend that was possible.

“Crossborder Radar Love is owned by Sterre van Houte’s parents and I teach her. They had already asked last year if it would be fun to try Paris, I initially put them off. Later they came back with that question and we started trying. When the MER requirements were announced, I thought: we’re never going to make it. But they convinced me to do it anyway and we succeeded!”

Country competition

In the Eventing discipline, the team and individual competition are ridden simultaneously. An eventing team consists of three combinations. All 65 combinations ride their dressage test on the first day. A day later, they will ride the cross-country, designed and built by Frenchman Pierre le Goupil. The third day starts with a jumping course to determine the team ranking. The results of all three team members count towards the final ranking, there is no scratch result.

Individual ranking

The denouement of the individual ranking takes place on the same day. After the first three competition components, the provisional ranking is drawn up and the 25 highest-placed combinations compete in a second jumping test for the individual medals.


Eurosport and HBO Max will broadcast the battle for gold, silver and bronze live during Paris 2024. Just like in Tokyo and Beijing, we will bring you all the matches in Paris live with a large team of experts and commentators, with all the emotions, reactions, analyses and backgrounds. Follow our new channel on Whatsapp already?

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