New Zealand's top eventers served notice they will mean business at London 2012 by starring in the Barbury International Horse Trials.

Wiltshire-based Andrew Nicholson leads the event's CIC three-star feature class after dressage, with his fellow New Zealanders Jonathan Paget and Mark Todd lying second and fifth, respectively.

New Zealand's eventing team for London will be announced at a press conference in Berkshire next Tuesday, and all three riders delivered performances to delight their national selectors.

Nicholson, individual bronze medalist at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, was among the late starters, but his experienced campaigner Avebury once again delivered the goods.

They collected 41.6 penalties, relegating Paget and Clifton Lush to second, three places above Todd and NZB Campino.

Todd, a double Olympic champion and last year's Badminton winner at the age of 55, lost his intended ride for London - NZB Land Vision - through injury.

But the kiwi master showed he is warming up nicely just a month before Greenwich as he prepares for what would be his latest tilt at an Olympic medal.

Assessing New Zealand's Olympic prospects, 50-year-old Nicholson said: "I think if we can get there with our A team, then we will have a very good chance."

NZ Newswire

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