Kevin McNab

Kevin McNab is an Australian Olympic event rider based in Great Britain.

Kevin, whose date of birth is 12 February 1978, is from Queensland, and hails from a farming background.

“Mum said I asked for a horse when I was two and she was silly enough to get me one,” he explains.

He started eventing when he moved to a sports school for his final years of education and spent time based with Italian eventer Tony Manca. Four years with Heath Ryan followed, at his powerhouse equestrian centre in New South Wales.

How did Kevin meet his wife Emma?

Emma (née Dougall) and Kevin met through Heath, who suggested if she was serious about eventing, she needed to be based with another rider. By then, Kevin had set up Kelecyn Equestrian Services in Queensland and together, the pair ran a big sales yard of 40 to 50 horses.

The couple first moved to Britain in 2012, when Kevin was aiming for the London Olympics with Clifton Pinot, although it was actually another nine years before the rider made his Olympic debut.

Since being in Britain, the couple have deliberately focused on having a smaller team of horses than they had in Australia and put more emphasis on their own team ambitions, rather than producing horses which are sold on. This has clearly paid off, because as well as Kevin’s Olympic success, Emma has represented Australia at championship level, riding at the World Equestrian Games in 2018 on Fernhill Tabasco.

Kevin and Emma are based in Surrey, at a yard owned by Mark and Belinda Sartori.

So Kevin rode at the Tokyo Olympics?

Yes. Kevin was originally named as a non-travelling reserve for the Tokyo Olympics, which were held in 2021 after they were delayed a year by Covid-19. But he was called up from the reserve bench to serve as the Australian team’s travelling alternate rider when Chris Burton withdrew Quality Purdey from the squad. Kevin was then brought into the Australian team when it was decided to swap Stuart Tinney and Leporis into the alternate spot after the first horse inspection.

Kevin went on to finish in 14th place individually and take home a silver medal as a member of the Australian team, riding Scuderia 1918 Don Quidam, who was known simply as Don Quidam at the Games as horses drop their commericial prefixes for the Olympics.

“He’s really enthusiastic about his job and very brave,” says Kevin. “Every single time I ride him, I enjoy it.”

The Italian equestrian team Scuderia 1918 – which owns Don Quidam – started in 2016 with sourcing and producing event horses through a partnership with Francesca Pollara, who is now the team manager for eventing and dressage. The team owns horses in all three Olympic disciplines, including a number ridden by Kevin.

Does Kevin McNab have children?

Yes. Kevin and his wife Emma have two children. Annabelle was born in August 2019 and Charli in June 2021.