15-year-old equestrian star died after pony landed on top of her, inquest told

Iona Sclater was described as one of the sport’s ‘bright stars’ by British Eventing Credit: Adam Fanthorpe/PA

A teenage equestrian star died when the pony she was riding “somersaulted and landed on top of her", an inquest has heard.

Iona Sclater, 15, fell off Jack the pony as she attempted to jump a hay bale over 1.3 metres high on her family's farm in Abington Pigotts, Cambridgeshire.

“I’m told Iona attempted to jump and Jack caught the bale at the start of the jump,” Assistant Coroner Simon Milburn told the inquest in Huntingdon.

He said Iona “landed on the floor on her stomach” and the 1.47 metre-tall pony then landed on her.

Iona was pronounced dead at the scene by an air ambulance doctor at 12.36pm on August 11 this year.

A post-mortem examination recorded her medical cause of death as a crush injury to the chest.

The 15-year-old had the pony named Jack for four years and that they were “used to riding together”, the inquest heard.

He said Iona lived with her family, who were “avid pony and horse riders”, and that Iona was an “accomplished horse rider”.

Mr Milburn, recording a conclusion of accidental death, extended his condolences to Iona’s family, who were not present at the hearing.

In a tribute issued at the time, British Eventing described Iona as an “exceptionally talented and dedicated young event rider” and one of the sport’s “bright stars”.

In five seasons with British Eventing, the young rider had achieved 33 top 10 results and represented the Eastern region four times at the under-18 regional team championships.

She had also secured a place on the Pony European Championships long-list