Sick 'fraudsters' set up fake funeral fund to cash in on death of Brit horse-riding starlet, 15

A DEVASTATED mum has slammed sick "fraudsters" for setting up a funeral fund to cash in on the death of her equestrian star daughter.

Iona Sclater, 15, was pronounced dead at the scene after falling from her horse at her family's country estate in Abington Pigotts, Cambridgeshire, on Sunday morning.

Find me someone who looks at me the way Swatchy does ❤️❤️thank you @adamfanthorpe for capturing these special moments #watermillrocks #devoucoux

A post shared byIona Sclater (@ionasclater_eventing) on

The teenager was one of the sport's rising stars and had been longlisted to take part in the 2019 European eventing championships in Poland.

Her parents Charles and Hetty, both 48, and sisters Lara and Alicia have been left heartbroken by the tragedy.


Grieving Hetty suffered further agony after claiming sick con artists had set up a fake crowdfunder online.

She wrote on Facebook: "Some sick individual has set up an Iona Sclater Funeral Fund – Please do not donate.

"I will issue our statement when we are ready. Please share. I don't now how to stop this!!!

"There may be others do not donate anything. Charlie and I have our own plans for a charity which will publish when we are ready."

A post was also added to the teenager's Instagram account, which reads: "There are unauthorised fundraising activities that have appeared and these are not sanctioned so please refrain from donating at this time."

It stated that "Charlie and Hetty are hopeful that the energy and momentum can in due course be turned into a positive legacy for Iona."

Tragic Iona had posted a touching last Instagram post about her "special moments" competing in the sport she loved just five days before her death.

She had posted a picture on Instagram of her and horse, writing: "Find me someone who looks at me the way Swatchy does. Thank you @adamfanthorpe for capturing these special moments."

The alleged scam is the latest to strike vulnerable families coping with their grief.

Earlier this year a con artist set up a fake crowdfunder pretending to raise money for the funeral of house fire victim Billy Hicks.


British Eventing paid tribute to Iona, describing her as one of the sport's brightest young stars.

A statement said: "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.

"Our thoughts are with Iona's friends and family at this very difficult time.

"Iona was an exceptionally talented and dedicated young event rider."

Iona's mum Hetty was a former eventing rider. Her grandfather, Lieutenant-Commander Edward Sclater, owns the land where Iona died.

Sclater won a British Eventing Under-18 competition at Stratford Hills in Essex in June on her pony Foxtown Cufflynx.

Friends posted heartfelt tributes to the teenager on social media, describing her as a 'legend' and 'the most thoughtful person ever'.

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."

A fellow friend said: "Iona was the kindest, most thoughtful person ever. She would always pick people up when they were down and enjoyed every moment with everyone.

"Iona you are a legend and we will love you forever. Another angel gone too soon."

Iona also represented her region four times at the U18 regional team championships.

Her death comes just one month after a fellow horse rider died while competing in a cross country event in Solihull.

Clare Bedford, 31, had been taking part in the one-day event on July 13, when she is said to have fallen off her horse and suffered a cardiac arrest.

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