Dutch eventing draws 60,000 spectators

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NTP: Dutch Eventing, horse competition
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Dutch eventing draws 60,000 spectators
KBIS Starbust of Britain eyes the photographer when waiting for a horse inspection prior to dressage at the Military Boekelo, near Enschede, eastern Netherlands, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Eventing, or horse trial, is a three-discipline equestrian event of a single horse and rider combination which consists of dressage, cross-country and show jumping. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Horses are taken for an early morning walk ahead of the cross-country discipline of the Military Boekelo, eastern Netherlands, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Horses and riders compete in Eventing at Boekelo, which includes three-disciplines, dressage, cross-country and show jump. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Groom Alley Cocking of Lancashire in England caresses Detective as she takes him for an early morning walk ahead of the cross-country discipline of the Military Boekelo, Netherlands, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Horses and riders compete in Eventing at Boekelo, which includes three-disciplines, dressage, cross-country and show jump. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Toshiyuki Tanaka of Japan passes a mobile Dutch pastry shop as he runs his horse Ballastair Bay during a horse inspection prior to dressage at the Military Boekelo, eastern Netherlands, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. More than 60,000 spectators enjoyed a day of Olympic-standard equestrian competition when they attended the Military Boekelo, one of the biggest sporting events held in the Netherlands. Eventing competition consists of dressage, cross-country and show jumping and competitors were seeking a spot at the Rio Olympics at the picturesque competition held near the city of Enschede. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
A girl makes her dog jump over an obstacle for horses during the cross-country discipline of the Eventing at the Military Boekelo, eastern Netherlands, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. More than 60,000 spectators enjoyed a day of Olympic-standard equestrian competition when they attended the Military Boekelo, one of the biggest sporting events held in the Netherlands. Eventing competition consists of dressage, cross-country and show jumping and competitors were seeking a spot at the Rio Olympics at the picturesque competition held near the city of Enschede. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Alex Hua Tian of China and his horse Don Geniro jump over an obstacle during the cross-country discipline of the Military Boekelo, eastern Netherlands, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. The cross-country with attracts 60,000 visitors, is a 6 kilometers long trail (3.72 miles) designed by Olympic course designer Sue Benson and is part of Eventing, or horse trial, a three-discipline equestrian event of a single horse and rider combination which consists of dressage, cross-country and show jumping. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
The manes of a horse are tied in knots prior to a veterinary checkup at the Military Boekelo, eastern Netherlands, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. More than 60,000 spectators enjoyed a day of Olympic-standard equestrian competition when they attended the Military Boekelo, one of the biggest sporting events held in the Netherlands. Eventing competition consists of dressage, cross-country and show jumping and competitors were seeking a spot at the Rio Olympics at the picturesque competition held near the city of Enschede. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Nicolas Touzaint of France rides his horse Crocket 30 during the cross-country discipline of the Military Boekelo, eastern Netherlands, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. The cross-country is part of Eventing, or horse trial, a three-discipline equestrian event of a single horse and rider combination which consists of dressage, cross-country and show jumping. Eventing is the only high-risk Olympic sport that permits men and women to compete as equals. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Horse inspector Alain James of France, center rear, notes his observations during an inspection prior to the dressage event of the Military Boekelo, Netherlands, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. More than 60,000 spectators enjoyed a day of Olympic-standard equestrian competition when they attended the Military Boekelo, one of the biggest sporting events held in the Netherlands. Eventing competition consists of dressage, cross-country and show jumping and competitors were seeking a spot at the Rio Olympics at the picturesque competition held near the city of Enschede. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
The swollen veins of Cheeky Calimbo are hit by a ray of sunlight after the horse competed with its jockey Andrew Hoy of Australia in the cross-country discipline of the Military Boekelo, eastern Netherlands, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Eventing riders and horses of Australia, New Zealand, and Japan are competing to qualify for the Rio Olympics. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Italy's Paolo Belvederesi and El Kazir SP exit a barn after a jump during the cross-country discipline of the Military Boekelo, eastern Netherlands, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
A girl rides a mechanical horse as some 60,000 people watched the cross-country discipline of the Military Boekelo, eastern Netherlands, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. More than 60,000 spectators enjoyed a day of Olympic-standard equestrian competition when they attended the Military Boekelo, one of the biggest sporting events held in the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Arnaud Boiteau of the French riding academy Cadre Noir de Saumur and his horse Sultan de la Motte kick up water after a jump followed by a large tray of water during the cross-country discipline of the Military Boekelo, eastern Netherlands, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. The cross-country, a 6 kilometer long trail (3.72 miles) is designed by Olympic course designer Sue Benson and is part of Eventing, or horse trial, a three-discipline equestrian event of a single horse and rider combination which consists of dressage, cross-country and show jumping. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Arnaud Boiteau of the French riding academy Cadre Noir de Saumur shows his horse Sultan de la Motte during a horse inspection ahead of the Military Boekelo, Netherlands, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. More than 60,000 spectators enjoyed a day of Olympic-standard equestrian competition when they attended the Military Boekelo, one of the biggest sporting events held in the Netherlands. Eventing competition consists of dressage, cross-country and show jumping and competitors were seeking a spot at the Rio Olympics at the picturesque competition held near the city of Enschede. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Jockey Bruce Davidson Jr. of the U.S. jumps with Copper Beach over an obstacle in a barn during the cross-country discipline of the Military Boekelo, eastern Netherlands, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
A Dutch Marine arranges a display during the horse inspection prior to the Eventing at the Military Boekelo, Netherlands, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Eventing, or horse trial, is a three-discipline equestrian event of a single horse and rider combination which consists of dressage, cross-country and show jumping. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
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AMSTERDAM (AP) — More than 60,000 spectators enjoyed a day of Olympic-standard equestrian competition when they attended the Military Boekelo, one of the biggest sporting events held in the Netherlands. Eventing competition consists of dressage, cross-country and show jumping and competitors were seeking a spot at the Rio Olympics at the picturesque competition held near the city of Enschede.

On a course designed by British Olympic designer Sue Benson, grooms and jockeys took their mounts for an early morning stroll as dawn brought the first light at the start of a hectic day on a spectacular and demanding 6-kilometer (3.3-mile) trail and in a ring with 25 jumps.

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Eighteen countries and 88 competitors were listed and horses and jockeys were paraded during the horse inspection on Wednesday Oct. 7, a checkup for all competitors, before the first event, the dressage. Australian and New Zealand entries were among the competitors.

Horse lovers arrived in droves with some 60,000 spectators strolling through the woods and meadows of a 55 hectare (136 acres) site colored by the onset of autumnal hues. Every few minutes spectators watched a horse and rider pass at full gallop, jumping over fences, mastering a combination of obstacles, passing through a barn after a jump, or being unsaddled in the water - in which case horse and rider are hosed down with icy water. The Military Boekelo is also a busy business event, with 30 conferences organized for more than 4,000 participants.

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