Canterbury's Caroline Powell couldn't upstage British royalty early on the second day of dressage at the Olympic three-day equestrian event.
Powell, 39, and her popular 19-year-old grey gelding Lenamore started their Olympic campaign in less than ideal style with a middling dressage test in the main arena at beautiful Greenwich Park.
A score of 65.18 per cent equated to 52.2 penalties and sees the Scottish-based Kiwi and her 2010 Burghley winning mount slot in at 22nd of the 42 riders who had completed the dressage phase.
With world No 6 Jock Paget and Clifton Promise having started nicely - he was seventh after collecting 44.1 penalties on the first day - a good score from Powell would have set New Zealand up to be in contention in the teams event, with old guns Andrew Nicholson (Nereo) and Mark Todd (Campino) yet to ride in the dressage.
But now the pressure is on both experienced horseman to deliver a score to keep New Zealand in the medal hunt ahead of the cross-country and showjumping.
Germany's Ingrid Klimke (Butts Abraxxas) and Sweden's Sara Algotsson Ostholt (Wega) head the field with 39.3 penalties, with 32 riders yet to feature in the dressage.
Powell and Lenamore were pretty consistent but paid the price for three big mistakes, a weak entry, one of the flying changes, and a hugely disappointing collected canter.
Moments before Powell entered the ring, the Queen's granddaughter, Zara Phillips, made her long awaited debut on the aptly named High Kingdom.
Phillips fluffed her first flying change but made up for the big mistake with three nines - two for the final salute - to score 46.1 penalties and move into eighth place as Prince Phillip, her mother Princess Anne and other members of the royal family watched from the stands.
- © Fairfax NZ News