Andrew Nicholson is sitting handily in third place after the dressage at the top-ranking Luhmuhlen CCI4* in Germany.
World No 1 Nicholson, who has three mounts in the event, is in third on the big grey Mr Cruise Control on 38 penalty points after a very polished test, just behind leader Ingrid Klimke (GER) on Tabasco TSF who are on 34 in the 50-strong field.
The next Kiwi on the leaderboard is Badminton winner Jonathan Paget and Bullet Proof who are 12th on 47.7.
Nicholson and Rathmoyle King is in 14th with 48 and he's also in 20th spot aboard Qwanza with 49.7.
His London Olympic team-mate Jonelle Richards notched 51.5 to sit in 25th.
Tonight's Captain Mark Phillips designed cross country will ensure the leaderboard gets a good shake up.
The New Zealanders have been in dominating form at the world's best four-star events, and hopes are high that will continue this weekend.
Nicholson and Paget are chasing points for the HSBC FEI Classics Series, with just two events left on the card and a whopping $US150,000 prize for the winner.
Nicholson is in front, with a comfortable 13-point lead over Paget.
Luhmuhlen has attracted entries from all over the world, including Australian, Belgium, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United States.
Results (after the dressage phase): Ingrid Klimke (GER) Tabasco TSF 34 penalty points 1, Lucinda Fredericks (AUS) Flying Finish 36.7 2, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Mr Cruise Control 38 3, Zara Phillips (GBR) High Kingdom 39.7 4, Peter Thomsen (GER) Horseware's Cayenne 40.2 5, Jonathan Paget (NZL) Bullet Proof (owned by Joseph and Alexander Giannamore) 47.7 12, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Rathmoyle King 48 14, Andrew Nicholson (NZL) Qwanza 49.7 20, Jonelle Richards (NZL) Flintstar (owned by Darnelle Hubbard, Tim Price and Mrs Grey) 51.5 25.
HSBC FEI Classics standings: Andrew Nicholson (NZL) 40, Jonathan Paget (NZL) 27, William Fox-Pitt (GBR) 26, Michael Jung (GER) 22, Craig Barrett (AUS) 15.
- Fairfax Media
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