BACK-TO-BACK November hurricanes destroyed shot-lists, location hopes, equipment and morale, but somehow the phenomenal power of Emma Cahill came through in Recycled Equestrian.

Now the first short documentary of my directorial career has been screened at the Dublin International Short Film & Music Festival and is bound for the EQUUS Film Festival in New York this November.

It’s a baffling feeling, being horrendously disappointed that this short film is not what it could have been, and yet, overwhelming proud that it’s message STILL gets out.

That message is the story of Emma Cahill, a show jumper and veterinary student, who was paralysed by a horse riding accident while working in France.

She experienced paralysis, the darkness, the forced positivity, the revaluations and regroupings, and then she got up and walked.

This isn’t a fairytale, Emma is far from the physical person she used to be, and no amount of recuperation or fitness or strength work will change that; this is who she is now, and there’s no point in striving to get back to where she was, either physically or mentally.

That is the wider message she brings out in Recycled Equestrian, that we are never broken, just different; recycled.

And in that form, we can actually be better – don’t lose yourself in tragedy or grief for your former self, build the new you.


Recycled Equestrian will be available to view online after its US premiere at the EQUUS Festival in New York this November.


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