New Zealand have cleared their final hurdle ahead of the Olympic equestrian three-day event at Greenwich Park, which starts tonight (NZT).
The five New Zealand riders put the horses through their paces at the trot up and final vet inspection at Greenwich Park's striking main arena here today, and all passed with ease.
It was a low key, relaxed atmosphere as each of the 75 riders from 22 nations passed through the arena, which will be used for the dressage and showjumping phases.
There was a smattering of applause when it was announced over the PA system that the horses of Britain's world No 1 William Fox-Pitt (Lionheart) and the Queen's granddaughter, Zara Phillips, (the appropriately named High Kingdom) had been accepted.
New Zealand had been drawn 20th out of the 22 teams - a near perfect draw for them - which means two riders will compete on the first day of dressage tonight (NZT) and the other three tomorrow.
The preference is generally to go on the second day - Mark Todd has said judges tend be "warmed up" by then and dish out higher scores - and New Zealand have today ordered their riders accordingly.
The two younger members of the team, Jonelle Richards (Flintstar) and Jock Paget (Clifton Promise) are first up and will ride tonight, at 10.36pm (NZT) and 1.46am respectively.
Caroline Powell (Lenamore) is third and will be the first Kiwi in action on the second day.
There was some debate whether double Olympic champion Todd (Campino) or current world No 2 Andrew Nicholson (Nereo) would go next, the camp eventually deciding that Todd would be their final rider.
He will be the last of the 75-strong field to complete his dressage test, where riders must get their horses to perform a series of set manoeuvres. The riders are also marked.
"We drew 20th out of 22 so the last three will be on the second day of dressage, which is great," Equestrian Sports New Zealand high performance director Sarah Harris said.
"We want them all to have as good a chance of winning individually, as well as a team, and that's why the order is the way it is."
Dressage is traditionally New Zealand's weakest discipline and they'll be looking for scores up to 80 per cent to be in the mix heading into the cross-country.
The cross-country course is hilly and demanding, which should suit the Kiwis.
Sandwiched between the National Maritime Museum, the Queen's House and the Royal Observatory, there are breathtaking views of London and a distinctly British feel to some of the fences.
They include the Diamond Jubilee Hedge, Royal Park Seat, The Tower of London, The Observatory Turn and even The Cricket Ball Basket, which is as it says - a basket of cricket balls flanked by two sets of wickets and a couple of bats.
- © Fairfax NZ News