Hawke's Bay showjumper Oliver Edgecombe was just 0.49 seconds shy of winning the grand prix at the Queensland state championships in Maryborough yesterday.
Riding Vancouver, the Waipukurau farmer finished behind Australia's Paula Hamood.
The reigning Kelt Capital Horse of the Year titleholder was one of five riders to record double clear rounds and progress to the jumpoff.
Finishing fifth was New Zealand horse Picabello, owned by Mount View Stud in Bay of Plenty, in the hands of Australian David Dobson.
Katie McVean, of Mystery Creek, on Dunstan Hairy McLairy were the best of the rest of the New Zealanders, finishing seventh.
While in Australia they will also compete in a $25,000 grand prix at the Elysian Fields International Showjumping Classic, an international teams event worth $4000 to be held from July 20-22 and July 27-29, and the Toowoomba World Cup, including the Queensland State Indoor Championship, from August 3-5.
Rounding out the team are Cambridge's Mark Brooks and Catherine Cameron, on Kahurangi Valentino, who won the 1.3m class. Also Sue Thompson, of Hastings, on Air Hill The Rajah was second in the second in the 1.2m event on Friday.
The New Zealand young rider team finished second behind Northern Queensland yesterday but had already done enough to retain the Young Rider Shield challenge.
The team contained McVean, Katie Drummond, of Oamaru, Hawke's Bay's Jamie Beatson, now based in Cambridge, and Tess Williams, of Gisborne. They finished on nine points, five points clear of the nearest opposition.
Gisborne's Tess Williams won the Queensland young rider championship.
The teenager, part of the victorious New Zealand team that successfully defended the Transtasman Young Rider Shield, headed off 20 other combinations. Williams, riding Winston Darco the Fifth, owned by Australian-based New Zealander Ross Smith, beat the other five in the jump-off by five seconds.
The Kiwis last won the shield at the Taupo Young Horse Show in April.