"The level of competition here is going to be second to none," said reining discipline manager Brad Ettelman.
"This is truly the equestrian event of a lifetime for the US, and we are thrilled that Reining is experiencing a homecoming of sorts. Reining has experienced incredible growth internationally over the years, and we will certainly be showcasing the best the world has to offer at this WEG."
Duane Latimer from Canada, the reigning individual gold medalist, is back to defend his title aboard a new mount, and Tim McQuay, a member of the US gold-medal team in 2006, will help his defend their title again.
Dressage star Anky van Grunsven of The Netherlands has traded in her breeches for chaps during these World Games and will attempt to make a successful transition to "Western" dressage.
Reining made its debut at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, and has since been dominated by horses and riders from North America. The majority of the equine reining athletes are quarter horses, and the American Quarter Horse Association is the official breed sponsor of reining.
Countries competing with full teams include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Sweden and USA. Eleven of those countries will field four riders, allowing them one drop score, while the remaining three teams will have three competitors. Countries competing individuals include: Columbia, Dominican Republic, Spain, Ireland, Israel, Poland, South Africa and Uruguay.
Reining officials include technical delegate Dan Wall (USA); chief steward Eric Straus (USA); ground jury president Greg Darnell (USA); foreign judge Patti Carter (CAN); equipment judge Yaron Fabrikant (ISR); and ground jury members Thiago Boechat (BRA), Ralf Hesselschwerdt (GER) and Eugenio Latorre (ITA).
The competition begins at 9am today (US time), with part 1 of the team competition and will continue at 2pm with part 2 of the team competition.