Disaster on the showjumping phase has cost Tim Price a potential podium spot in the Tokyo Olympics equestrian eventing.
Sitting fifth after Sunday's cross country stage, Price was primed for a medal finish, if any of his rivals stumbled at the final stage, but instead, he and mount Vitali brought down three rails - including two of a treble - to slip out of contention individually.
A clear run would have seen Price enter the second round of jumping in a silver-medal position - instead, he fell to 16th.
Their 12.00 penalty points also saw the NZ team tumble from fourth to fifth, but with Great Britain dominant, and Australia and France maintaining their form over the barriers, the podium was always beyond them.
Worse was to follow for Price, when he and Vitali incurred another 21.60 penalties on his final jumping run, plummeting to 24th overall.
"It was disappointing," the former Burghley and Luhmuhlen winner told Sky Sport. "He's just a young horse and the Olympics bring out weird and wondrous things.
"To be in the framework to win in a place like this, you need consistency and I just haven't had it. I have a world of faith in him for the future and I still think we made the right choice to bring him.
"At least it didn't cost us a medal - I can rest a little easier that I didn't let peope down to that extent."
One of those moving past Price was wife Jonelle, who finished as New Zealand's leading performer in ninth, with Jesse Campbell 22nd.
German Julia Krajewski became the first female Olympic eventing champion, with just a small time penalty over her two jumping runs.