The United States Equestrian Team is the non-profit organization, which selects, trains, equips, finances and promotes equestrians of the highest possible standard to represent this country in major international competition, including the Olympics Games and the World Championships.

In doing so, the USET seeks out and nurtures the development of talented athletes--riders, drivers and horses--and provides the support and guidance they need to help them attain their fullest potential.

Athletes representing the USET have achieved outstanding success over the last four decades. By winning World Championships in Show Jumping, Eventing, Endurance Riding and Combined Driving, the USET has positioned itself among the world's elite equestrian powers. An impressive 27 Olympic and 61 Pan American Games medals in dressage, show jumping and eventing give U.S. equestrians a record of which the entire country can be proud.

Disciplines of the USET represented at National Western Stock Show include:

What is reining? The art of reining is a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch type horse in the confines of a show arena. Contestants are required to run one of several approved patterns, which include small slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, roll backs over the hocks, 360-degree spins done in place and the exciting sliding stops that are the hallmark of the reining horse.

Competition venue: Reining competition takes place within an arena. In the arena, markers are used to enable riders to better follow pattern proportions. Because of the nature of the sport, reining requires special footing to allow top performance and ensure soundness, much the same as jumpers require well designed courses. The "ideal" footing is typically a clay base, with a combination of sand and silt as a loose topping. Moisture control, particle size and compaction are three of the major components to consider when preparing proper ground. The technique in which the dirt is "dragged" and maintained also is important.

Competitors: Competitors in reining events range in age and are from a variety of backgrounds. Reining competitions can be found all over the world. Reining horses can be of any breed, sex, color or size. All riders must wear appropriate Western attire while showing. Reining rules are established by the National Reining Horse Association, (NRHA), the governing body of the sport of reining since 1966.

Judging: Using a highly objective scoring system, the NRHA set the standards for reining competition. Reining horses are judged individually as they complete one of several specified patterns. One or more judges will score each horse between zero and infinity, with 70 denoting an average score. Each horse automatically begins the pattern with a 70. The scoring system then gives or takes away up to one and one-half points on each maneuver. In scoring, credit is given for smoothness, finesse, attitude, quickness and authority when performing the various maneuvers. Controlled speed in the pattern raises the level of difficulty and makes the reining horse exciting to watch.

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