‘Bright star’ of eventing dies in riding accident aged 15

A teenager who was a “bright star” of eventing has died in a riding accident.

Fifteen-year-old Iona Sclater was riding at home yesterday (Sunday, 11 August) when the accident occurred.

The teenager, who had been long-listed for the 2017 and 2019 pony European Championships, was an “exceptionally talented and dedicated young event rider”, British Eventing (BE) said in a statement.

“In just five seasons competing with BE, Iona amassed 33 top-10 results and represented the eastern region four times at the under-18 regional team championships (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019).

“Iona’s impressive results this season to secure her a place on the pony European Championships long-list, include taking second place in the pony trial at Weston Park (1) and fourth in the pony trial at Lincolnshire Horse Trials in April, both on her pony Foxtown Cufflynx.”

Iona also won the BE100u18 at Stratford Hills in June, on Foxtown Cufflynx, and also took victory in the BE100 at Aston Le Walls (2) in May on Machno Excalibur, as well as the under-18 open novice at Burnham Market International (1) 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,” said the BE statement.

In tribute to the 15-year-old, a friend wrote: “Iona, you were the most delightful, talented and personable young lady I know with a very bright future ahead of you.”

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.