Equestrian Star, 15, Dies in Riding Accident

By Victor Westerkamp

A British rising star in equestrian sports, Iona Sclater, age 15, died in a riding accident at home on Aug. 11.

Iona Sclater fell from her horse last Sunday during a ride near her home in Abington Pigotts, Cambridgeshire, England. Her parents Charles and Hetty called 999 immediately, at around 11:30 a.m, according to the Sun.

Four ambulances and a trauma helicopter were dispatched, but little could be done by first responders. Iona died at the scene.

The British Eventing posted a memoriam on its website, stating: “British Eventing was devastated to receive the news that one of our young members and bright stars in the sport, Iona Sclater, sadly died in a riding accident at home on Sunday 11 August.


“Long-listed for the 2017 and 2019 European Championships for Ponies, fifteen-year-old Iona was an exceptionally talented and dedicated young event rider. In just five seasons competing with British Eventing, Iona amassed 33 top ten results and represented the Eastern region four times at the Under 18 Regional Team Championships (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019).

“Most recently Iona won the BE100u18 at Stratford Hills this June on Foxtown Cufflynx, and also claimed the win in the BE100 at Aston Le Walls in May riding Machno Excalibur, along with the Open Novice Under 18 at Burnham Market International in April with Janet Willis’ Watermill Rocks.

“Our thoughts are with Iona’s friends and family, her Dad, Charles, Mum, Hetty, and sisters Lara and Alicia, at this very difficult time.”

Just five days prior to her death, Iona posted a picture of herself competing at the Frickley Park Horse Trials trials in South Yorkshire with Swatchy, a horse, which read: “Find me someone who looks at me the way Swatchy does.”

As soon as the news spread social media flooded with condolences to the family.

“To one of my biggest inspirations, thank you for everything, you were taken long before your time and for that, I’m so sorry,” one person wrote, the New York Post reported.

Another added: “We all loved you so much and we are all thinking about you constantly. I wish you had all your time but we all know you would have continued doing amazing things.”

One pal wrote: “Iona, you were the most delightful, talented and personable young lady I know with a very bright future ahead of you.”

Another added: “Another equestrian gone too soon. Iona, you will be dearly missed and my thoughts go out to your family and friends. You were such a big part of the equine community and will never be forgotten.”

According to the ionasclater Instagram page, “Iona’s family have been overwhelmed with the enormous display of love and support at this devastating time. It is a great comfort to see the lives she has touched with her kindness and enthusiasm.”

The account also warned of false fundraising initiatives claiming to raise funds in Iona’s name, “Charlie and Hetty are hopeful that the energy and momentum can in due course be turned into a positive legacy for Iona, but this will of course take time. However, there are unauthorized fundraising activities that have appeared and these are not sanctioned so please refrain from donating at this time.”