English equestrian star, 15, died after pony landed on top of her, inquest told

English equestrian star, 15, died after pony landed on top of her, inquest told

A teenage equestrian star died when the pony she was riding clipped a hay bale while jumping over it and landed on top of her at her family’s farm, an inquest has heard.

Iona Sclater, 15, fell from the pony as she attempted to jump the bale in a field in Abington Pigotts in Cambridgeshire.

Assistant coroner Simon Milburn said Iona had had the pony named Jack for four years and that they were “used to riding together”.

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

He said Iona “landed on the floor on her stomach” and that Jack “somersaulted and landed on top of 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.

Mr Milburn said Jack was 14.2 hands (4ft 10in) tall and the hay bale was 1.32 metres (4ft 3in) tall.

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.

- Press Association

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