A NEW six-part series on the sport horse industry begins this Tuesday, August 2nd at 7pm on RTÉ 1. Horse Country tells the story of the multi-stranded sport horse world from show jumping to eventing, dressage, pony club, showing and breeding.
Directed and produced by award-winning documentary film-makers Kate O’Callaghan and Patrick Farrelly, the series follows a number of figures in the industry in the summer of 2021. The subjects include breeders Liam Lynskey, Finbar and Joanne Mulligan and Noel Cawley, as well as six teenage members of the Kildare Pony Club and the Sweetnam show jumping family from Co Cork.
Also featured is the Burchill family from West Cork and Co Wexford breeders Margaret and Des Jeffares whose journey to the four-year-final at the RDS National Championships is documented. Event riders Sarah Ennis and Cathal Daniels talk about their journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which ultimately ended in disappointment for Daniels who did not start. He talks openly about what happened with his horse Rioghan Rua’s bloods and the heartbreak of getting so close.
Horse Country tells stories of success, failure, frustration and exhilaration. They are treaded through different programs with many coming together at the Dublin Horse Horse Show at the RDS in the final episode.
O’Callaghan and Farrelly’s most recent work for RTÉ was the critically acclaimed feature documentary Marian about the life of the late Marian Finucane. Horse Country is sponsored by Horse Sport Ireland, the governing body for equestrian sport in Ireland, in association with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, as well as Sport Ireland.