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New Zealand are poised within striking distance of the leaders after the dressage section of the equestrian three-day teams event.

On the first day of dressage, Mark Todd guided Leonidas II to a good score of 44 and Tim Price, on Ringwood Sky Boy, recorded a 47.

Today Clarke Johnstone, riding Balmoral Sensation, scored 46.5 and Jonelle Price, aboard Faerie Dianimo, had a 49.5.

After the dressage section, the New Zealand team has a score of 137.5 (with the best three scores counting). That leaves them in a close sixth place. The leaders are Germany (122), France (122.2) and Australia (126.4).

The cross-country section of the three-day event is tomorrow and it promises to provide a tough test – Todd rates the course the toughest he has seen at an Olympic Games since 1984.

The final day will be the showjumping phase.

Johnstone said he was a little disappointed with his score today.

“When I finished I thought I had done well – there were no mistakes. But the judges were obviously not thrilled. It would have been nice if he (Balmoral Sensation) was a bit more energetic, but he can be flat in this heat.

“His changes were super, the first two and last change were very good and I felt the sevens we got for those were harsh. The canter work was the highlight.”

Price was not pleased with her score.

“Definitely didn’t go to plan A, B or C, which is never ideal,” she said. “There is not a lot you can do and there is no point dwelling on the past. We just have to rally. We need to come out tomorrow firing.

“There aren’t too many options for us for tomorrow. It will need to be fairly direct and fast. We are playing catch-up which is very different to protecting your scores. We have to now go out and catch the leaders, so I think it will be very simple.

“We Kiwis are famous for our cross-country riding so hopefully we can go out and show that tomorrow.”

The New Zealanders are well down the individual standings after the dressage section – Todd is 17th, Johnstone 23rd, Tim Price 29th and Jonelle Price 43rd.

Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Jonelle Price Mark Todd Clarke Johnstone Tim Price Equestrian - Eventing
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