Caroline Powell's joy at being named when the New Zealand eventing team for the London Olympics is revealed tonight will be tempered with great sadness following the death of her mother.
The Scottish-based eventer will be one of the four names read out when the team is announced in Berkshire, England, alongside Andrew Nicholson, Mark Todd and Jock Paget, providing their horses all come through a final vet check.
Powell won't attend the press conference as she wings her way home from Christchurch following the funeral of mother Ailsa Turner, who lost a long battle with cancer.
Her mother was a big supporter of Powell's career, and there'll be plenty of people hoping the Christchurch expatriot and star horse Lenamore, now 19 years old, can pull off an emotional win at the Olympic event later this month. Powell was the best of the Kiwis in Beijing four years, finishing 14th.
The 2010 Burghley-winning combination will be joined by in-form world No 2 Andrew Nicholson, who'll ride top mount Nereo, double Olympic champion Mark Todd and Campino, rising star Jock Paget.
The only grey area is which of Paget's two leading contenders the selection panel of New Zealand high performance coach Erik Duvander, former New Zealand representative Andrew Scott and UK-based dressage specialist Judy Bradwell opt for.
Clifton Promise probably has the inside running, having performed well at several four-star events and finishing second at the four-star Olympic training event in Wiltshire at the weekend, but Clifton Lush is seen as more reliable and was in contention at the Barbury Castle three-star yesterday until a fall in the cross-country.
Hopeful Clarke Johnstone was ruled out of the running for London this morning after his horse Orient Express was deemed unfit following a leg injury. The UK based team bronze medallist from the 2010 World Champs is "gutted", especially after such a promising run in the cross country at Barbury Castle International Horse Trials at the weekend.
Meanwhile, Nicholson yesterday served notice of his intentions ahead of Olympics with a dominant performance at Barbury Castle in Wiltshire, becoming the first New Zealander to win the CIC three-star title.
He not only claimed a runaway victory on his Olympic reserve mount, Avebury, collecting the $8000 winner's cheque in the process, he also finished second of the 110 starters on Quimbo.
Both horses finished on their dressage scores - 41.6 for Avebury and 49.8 for Quimbo - while Britain's Lucy Wiegersma was third on Simon Porloe.
Nicholson has been a model of consistency this season and has been in contention in almost every big event he's entered. He'll be delighted with his form, though a month is a long time in the world of equestrian.
Lucy Jackson and Animator II held on to finish in ninth place in the star-studded field and should be among the Olympic team reserves.
Todd and Campino were in the mix, but, like Paget and Lush, were
eliminated in the cross-country, after Todd missed a fence that was
added after he had walked the course. He accepted the mistake was