Rio 2016 Olympics - Missing out on medals in the three-day equestrian event after his horse knocked down four rails was a "bitter pill to swallow", Sir Mark Todd says.
The team of Todd, Clarke Johnstone and Jonelle Price were in the running for silver after yesterday's cross country round.
Hopes were high after Johnstone went clear and Price knocked down two rails, putting the team into an overall second spot before Todd's ride.
But the team fell to fourth after Todd's horse knocked down four rails.
If Todd had knocked down just one rail New Zealand would have won gold.
France took the gold medal, rising two places after the cross country phase and totalling of 169 points, followed by Germany and Australia. New Zealand were on 178.8.
"I am very disappointed. Gutted. If I had jumped clear we would have won and now we are out," said Todd.
"I couldn't imagine my horse having four fences down - he's never done that before so it was a real bitter pill to swallow."
It was one of the biggest lows of his career, Todd said.
"The whole week was a roller coaster ride. After yesterday's cross country we were still in with a chance and then - boom - you are out. I was hoping to go out on a high.
"Leonidas II is such a good jumper but he got wound up when going into the arena. I thought he would settle but he got more and more rattled."
Todd, 60, who in his Olypmic career to date has won two gold medals and three bronze, said he had not made plans for after Rio. Of the Tokyo 2020 Games he said: "I will be four years older."
In the individual show jumping competition finals, Johnstone finished in 6th place, Todd was 7th and Price end in 17th place.