Olympic debutants Kevin McNab and Don Quidam have been on a rollercoaster journey to the Tokyo Games as the pair went from non-travelling reserve – to sitting in provisional team silver after the cross-country (pictured).
Various changes have taken place to the Australian Olympic squad along the way; original team member Chris Burton and Quality Purdey withdrew owing to horse injury and were replaced by Stuart Tinney and Leporis, while Kevin moved into travelling alternate. Then following the first horse inspection on Thursday (29 July), Leporis was withdrawn based on veterinary advice – meaning Kevin and Don Quidam, whom is owned by Kevin’s wife Emma and Scuederia 1918, received the call-up.
While Surrey-based Kevin began 2020 with four horses qualified for the Olympics it was 13-year-old gelding Don Quidam by Quidam who made the cut. The pair were sixth at the Kentucky Three-Day Event in April this year, and completed Pau in October 2020.
Suffolk-based Kevin was disappointed with a dressage score of 32.10, but the pair made up for it as they jumped clear across country – picking up 2.8 time penalties.
“He gave me a great ride,” said Kevin. “The course was fantastic, it flowed a lot better than I thought it would and the ground held up super.”
Kevin, who joined Andrew Hoy and Vassily De Lassos and Shane Rose and Virgil, said there were no specific team orders ahead of the cross-country. Shane and Andrew both rode clear rounds inside the time.
“I think each rider has just done what’s right for their horse. I did a couple of different routes to the other guys and everyone was happy with that. We all know our own horses best and we’re allowed to choose what we wanted to do,” said Kevin.
“At the second water I went straight in long out, that just suited my horse better and I thought it would put a bit of money in the bank for later on in the course. It did make me a little slow though. Obviously it would have been great to come under time but it was clear first, and time second and I wanted to make sure I was clear. I didn’t have a clear round in the dressage, I needed to get one here!”
Australia finishes the day on 96.20 in provisional silver. Team GBR remains in provisional gold on 78.3.
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