Rookie Donna Smith turned on an inspiring performance to be the leading New Zealand eventer after the first day of dressage at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany, today.
Making her international debut, Smith and her horse Call Me Clifton defied atrocious conditions to finish the day in third place of the first 40 riders to complete the discipline today.
The remaining 39 in the eventing field will ride their dressage tests tomorrow.
It was a positive note for the New Zealanders to end the day on, after Alex de Luca Oliveira on Clifton Checkers and Heelan Tompkins and Glengarrick also had impressive starts to the three-day event.
British-based Caroline Powell had a disappointing start for the New Zealanders when Lenamore became unsettled after being the first combination into the arena.
Tompkins finished the day in eighth place, de Luca Oliveira in 23rd and Powell in 30th.
De Luca Oliveira and Smith are competing in the individual competition and Powell and Tompkins form two of the team combination along with Andrew Nicholson and Joe Meyer who will ride tomorrow.