Reigning Olympic individual champion Ben Maher and Swedish pair Henrik von Eckermann and Peder Fredricson are among the names taking centre stage in jumping at the FEI Equestrian World Championships in Herning, Denmark from 10-14 August.
Von Eckermann, Fredricson, and Malin Baryard-Johnsson secured team gold for Sweden at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021, and the trio are back to bid for world glory.
All three will be with their mounts from Japan, but Maher's gold-medal partner Explosion W is not fully fit so the Briton has had to make a late switch to Faltic HB.
McLain Ward leads reigning champions the United States while the Netherlands are also challengers having won last year's FEI Jumping Nations Cup in Barcelona just ahead of holders Ireland.
There is extra incentive to perform in the team competition as the top five nations in the final will receive quota spots for Paris 2024.
Martin Fuchs of Switzerland won individual silver behind Germany's Simone Blum four years ago, and he will seek to go one better having just lost his place at the top of the FEI world rankings to von Eckermann who has enjoyed a superb couple of seasons on board King Edward.
Jumping World Championships 2022 Format
All pairs jump on the first day which acts as qualification for the individual competition and a scoring run for the team event. The score is calculated by dividing the time of each rider by two and making the lowest score the baseline for zero penalties.
On day two, there is no calculation with just faults being added to the total for both individual and team competitions. If there are four riders in a team, the worst score is dropped with the top 10 teams after two days going through to the team final on day three.
In the team final, each rider goes once with, again, the lowest score for each team dropped to come up with a total.
Four years ago in Tryon, North Carolina, Sweden and the United States went into a jump-off after finishing tied on 20.59 points with the hosts coming out on top on aggregate time after three clear rounds apiece.
Only the top 50 riders, and ties, take part on day three (team final and third individual qualification) with riders not involved in the team final going first.
Then the top 25, and ties, progress to the individual final two days later with only the top 12 making the second round on a different course. The totals over the four days determine the medals.
Simone Blum and DSP Alice took gold in Tryon with just 3.47 points having had 2.47 in the first round followed by three clears and then one time fault in her final round.
Jumping World Championships 2022 Stars To Watch
Henrik von Eckermann and Peder Fredricson lead Swedish charge
While jumping is often wide open, Sweden's new world number one Henrik von Eckermann can be considered the favourite in Herning.
He and King Edward have had a superb last 18 months with data analytics company Equiratings making the 12-year-old gelding the fourth best jumper since 2010 based on his performances last year.
Those included six out of six clear rounds in Japan with King Edward one of just three horses in history to go through an Olympic Games without having a fence down.
Fourth place in the individual final in Tokyo was something of a disappointment, but the pair kept up their stellar form with victory in the Prague GCT Super Prix despite von Eckermann effectively riding without reins at the start of the decisive second round after King Edward managed to slip his tongue over the bit.
They also beat a star-studded field in the CSI5* in St Tropez in April and achieved wins on consecutive days in Stockholm to mark them out as one of the leading partnerships at these World Championships.
Von Eckermann's team-mate Peder Fredricson is the nearly man of individual Olympic jumping with silver at the last two Games.
Fredricson also won bronze at last September's European Championships in Riesenbeck, Germany.
He finished down in 19th in Tryon four years ago, but he and All In who, like King Edward, is a rare barefoot jumper (without shoes) are a formidable pairing.
And it was All In's scintillating final run in the jump-off which secured team gold for Sweden over the United States in Tokyo.
Ben Maher optimistic despite late setback
Olympic champion Ben Maher opted to rule Explosion W, the horse on which he won gold in Tokyo, out of these World Championships with just a week to go.
Maher released a statement reported by Horse and Hound saying, "We’re incredibly disappointed to have to take this decision but Explosion W just isn’t quite at his peak fitness to take on the demands of this championship.
"He’s well in himself but jumping championship tracks over consecutive days takes a great deal of stamina. He’s simply too special a horse to risk so, with his welfare at the forefront of my mind I felt this was the best action."
He now rides Faltic HB who he says "has jumped fantastically this season".
McLain Ward leads USA title defence
McLain Ward is the only survivor from the Tokyo 2020 silver medal team of last year with he and Adrienne Sternlicht defending the world title they won on home soil four years ago.
Ward and his Tokyo mount Contagious are a strong newer partnership while Sternlicht remains with Cristalline from Tryon.
Tokyo silver medallist Jessica Springsteen, the daughter of rock legend Bruce, is a travelling reserve this time round with 21-year-old Brian Moggre and Lillie Keenan completing the team.
Germans and Dutch head Europeans in the mix
With seven individual golds from 19 previous editions, the Germans are always to be respected.
Reigning European champions Andre Thieme and DSP Chakaria lead the team with Christian Ahlmann the highest-ranked jumper at 15.
The Dutch were dealt a blow just over a fortnight ago when Willem Greve broke his ankle and upper arm in a fall.
New world number eight Smolders sealed Nations Cup glory for the Netherlands in Barcelona last October on board Monaco, and the pair join forces again in Herning.
Jumping World Championships 2022 Schedule for Paris 2024 qualification
(all times in Central European Summer Time/CEST, which is UTC+2):
Wednesday 10 August
10:50 First team and individual qualifying competition
Thursday 11 August
12:50 Second team and individual qualifying competition
Friday 12 August
20:50 Team final and individual qualification
Sunday 14 August
13:50 Individual final
How to watch Herning 2022 Jumping World Championships 2022 and Paris 2024 qualification final
The full event is being broadcast by the FEI's TV and digital livestream partners, with replays and highlights also available.
Full details of where to watch can be found here.