Veteran Mark Todd set himself up for another Olympic equestrian medal with an outstanding performance in dressage - the first discipline of the three-day eventing - at Greenwich Park.
Riding last of the 74 entries, Todd skilfully guided his horse - Campino - around the arena at the cost of just 39.10 penalty points, good for third overall.
Traditionally, dressage is not the strong feature of New Zealand's eventing efforts, so this represents a great foundation for Todd (56) to mount a challenge for his third Olympic gold medal - he won this event at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Team-mate Jock Paget sits equal 17th with 44.10 points and Andrew Nicholson is 21st with 45.00 points, and as a team, New Zealand (128.20) lies fourth equal with Sweden. They trail Germany (119.10), Australia (122.10) and Great Britain (127.00).
Earlier in the day, Caroline Powell's dressage round on Lenamore was not her best effort, with the combination picking up 52.20 penalty points.
But her showing, combined with Jock Paget's 44.10 and Jonelle Richards' 56.70 from the previous day, put the Kiwis on 153 points, almost 20 behind team leaders Australia. The three best individual scores count in the team event.
Nicholson's performance, aboard Nereo, edged the Kiwis higher up the standings, before Todd set the seal at the end.
Great Britain's Zara Phillips, the Queen's grand-daughter and 14th in line for the throne, incurred 46.10 points aboard High Kingdom and slotted into 24th equal.