Kevin was born in Cairns, in the far north of Queensland, in February 1978. He first rode when he asked his parents for a horse at the age two and a neighbour's pony was led up the road for him to ride. Kevin went on to train at the NSW Equestrian Centre before moving back to Queensland to develop his purpose-built training facility at Tamborine, south of Brisbane.
He says his proudest personal riding moment was at the 2004 Puhinui Three Day Event near Auckland.
"I was riding four catch rides, which was a lot in the old format of roads, tracks and steeplechase. I had one CCI*** horse and three CCI** horses. All four came home clear cross country!"
But he also believes his greatest achievement has been to coach Jonathan (Jock) Paget, who came to Kevin in 2004 having never ridden a dressage test or jumped a horse.
Jock has since gone on to win a Team Bronze medal at the London Olympics in 2012 and win the Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials in 2013, both on Clifton Promise.
Kevin earned his reputation as a producer of horses many of which have gone on to compete at the top competitions around the world. He himself was on the Australian Elite Squad from 2008-2010. He has also represented Australia at the 2008 HSBC World Cup Eventing Final in France, after leading the FEI World Cup Qualifier Leader Board.
The knowledge Kevin has learnt through his time training horses enabled him to become an incredible coach granting him the role as the Queensland Junior Event team coach. It is no surprise that many of his pupils have gone on to do great things in the sport, most notably Jock Paget and Chris Burton who both went on to represent their respective countries in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Having devoted his early life to producing horses and riders, he decided in 2011 to compete on the world stage himself with the intention of getting to the 2014 World Equestrian Games (WEG) and to represent Australia at the 2016 Olympics.
Kevin took over the ride of Clifton Pinot from Jock Paget in October 2011. They very quickly formed a relationship that took them to Adelaide CCI**** in November 2011, where they finished 16th.
Kevin moved to the UK in early 2012 with Clifton Pinot and several of his other horses and is based near Bracknell, Berkshire.
Soon after moving to the UK, Kevin completed Luhmühlen four-star 3DE on Clifton Pinot in June 2012, finishing 19th. They also competed at Les Étoiles de Pau CCI**** in October 2012, where they jumped a clear cross country round inside the time to move up to eighth place. Unfortunately, an overreach injury prevented them from completing the competition.
In May 2013 Kevin and Clifton Pinot were the highest placed member of the Australian Nations Cup Team that finished third at Houghton International CICO***, finishing 10th individually out of 72 starters.
His personal motto is "Never lose sight of your dreams and always give 110%".
Main competition successes
- 2012 (May) – Finished fifth at Houghton International CICO*** with Clifton Pinot.
- 2012 (June) – Finished 19th at Luhmühlen CCI**** with Clifton Pinot.
- 2012 (September) – Second Allerton Park Advanced Horse Trials on Clifton Pinot.
- 2012 (September) – Won Little Downham Intermediate on Brookfield Hero.
- 2013 (April) – Won Withington Manor Intermediate on Brookfield Cult King.
- 2013 (May) – Finished tenth at Houghton International CICO*** with Clifton Pinot.
- 2013 (May) – Won Rockingham Castle Intermediate on Casperelli.
- 2013 (June) – Finished fifth at Luhmühlen CCI**** with Clifton Pinot (results)
- 2013 (August) – Finished fifth at the Haras National du Pin CCI** WEG test event with Casperelli (results).
- 2013 (September) – Finished 13th in the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials on Clifton Pinot.
The September issue of Eventing magazine published Workhorse!, a two-page spread on Kevin. An excellent read with loads of interesting background information.
You can track Kevin's UK performance by visiting his page on the British Eventing website.
Kevin also maintains a Facebook page called McNab Eventing.