Tributes paid to talented young showjumper killed in car crash

  • Tributes have been paid to an ‘extremely talented’ young British showjumper who was killed in a car crash on Tuesday (6 December).

    Ella Popely was involved in a two-vehicle collision near Leith Hill, Surrey, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

    She represented Great Britain on a number of occasions at children’s and junior level since securing her first British Showjumping (BS) win at just eight years old.

    Ella leaves behind her father, international showjumper John, her mother, Lea, and her brother, Jack.

    BS issued a statement this morning (7 December) paying tribute to the teenage rider.

    “It is with deep sadness that BS offer their condolences to John and Lea Popely for the death of their daughter Ella, who died tragically yesterday,” a BS spokesman said.

    “An extremely talented rider who was dedicated to the sport, Ella always proving herself to be a great competitor and popular team member.”

    Ella started her international team career in 2011 when she was selected for the children’s Nations Cup team competing in Hagen.

    She was selected for the children’s European championship squad that same year as a reserve.

    In 2012, Ella represented Great Britain on further Nations Cup teams, and was selected for the children’s European championship team where she delivered three consecutive clears with Amaryllis van de Heffinck.

    In 2015 Ella had junior Nations Cup appearances at both Hagen and Deauville with La Boom.

    For the past two years Ella had been competing successfully at home and abroad.

    Her most recent international win was in Verbier with Little Luidam, whom she also won an international class with at the Allington International show this summer.

    Ella Popely

    Credit: Real Time Imaging/Steve Dawe

    “Committed to developing a career within showjumping, Ella was particularly delighted to have been selected for inclusion within the 2015/2016 Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) cohort,” said the BS spokesman.

    “Embracing the course with enthusiasm, she applied herself with great dedication both completing and passing programme earlier this year.

    “An extremely bright, enthusiastic and personable young woman, she will be sorely missed by many.”

    Ella’s friends and family have flooded social media with their tributes.

    Iain Graham of BS added: “I speak for myself, the non-executive board and the entire association when I say that words are unable to convey the sadness we feel in the loss of Ella.

    “Our sincerest thoughts are with Lea, John, and Ella’s brother Jack during this extremely difficult time”.

    Clare Salmon of the British Equestrian Federation added: “We were deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of the death of the talented showjumper Ella Popely.

    “The collective thoughts and condolences of the British Equestrian Federation go to John and Lea Popely, and all their family and friends at this time.”

    Updated: Monday 12 December

    Ella’s funeral is to be held at Hurstperpoint College Chapel, near Hassocks, West Sussex on 20 December at 2.30pm. The Popely family has requested family flowers only. Anyone wishing to make a donation to Ella’s memorial garden at Hickstead are welcome to do so on the day. A reception will be held after the service at the members bar and lounge at the All England Jumping Course, Hickstead, courtesy of the Bun and Breen families.

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