Crush injury caused young eventing rider’s death, inquest finds

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Iona Schlater
Young eventing rider Iona Schlater, pictured on Foxtown Cufflynx, died in a riding accident at home on August 11. © Adam Fanthorp

Young British rider Iona Sclater died last month after her pony Jack somersaulted and fell on top of her, an inquest has found.

Iona, 15, died on Sunday, August 11, in a riding accident at the family home in Royston, Hertfordshire. The inquest at Huntington, Cambridgeshire, heard that she and one of her sisters had been jumping a large hay bale, but Iona’s pony clipped the front of it. This caused Iona to land on her stomach, and Jack flipped and landed on his rider.

The haybale was about 1.3m high. the inquest heard.

East of England Air Ambulance Service paramedic Paul Rees said Iona was in cardiac arrest when he arrived. She was pronounced dead at 12.36pm.

Assistant coroner Simon Milburn said: “Iona suffered a fatal crush injury caused when the horse she was riding landed on top of her following a fall.

“The fall would have been unintentional and in those circumstances, I find that very tragically indeed, Iona died as a result of an accident.”

Iona was long-listed for the 2017 and 2019 European Championships for Ponies. In just five seasons competing with British Eventing, Iona amassed 33 top 10 results and represented the Eastern region four times at the Under 18 Regional Team Championships.

Only the day before her death, Iona had made a video in tribute to her pony, Jack, as she was moving from ponies on to hacks. Her mother, Hetty Sclater, shared it online as a farewell to Iona.

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