Equestrian community rallies around rider run over by car in Maryland
A woman was seriously injured after being hit by a car in mid-July. Today, the competitive rider enjoys strong support from the community she loves.
FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. — A lifelong competitive rider suffered a traumatic brain injury and was hospitalized after police say she was intentionally run over by a woman she had an argument with. Now the local equestrian community is coming forward to support his recovery.
On July 12 around 9 p.m., the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office received a report that a woman was injured in a hit and run near the intersection of Black Ankle Road and Unionville Road in Mount Airy, Maryland. When deputies arrived they found Jami Cornell, 35, lying in the road. First responders immediately took rescue action.
Through an investigation, deputies identified Chelsea Kendall, 38, of Union Bridge, as the driver of the car that crashed into Cornell, and said Kendall left the scene before they arrived.
Kendall was arrested later the same day and charged with first and second degree assault and failure to stop at the scene of an accident involving bodily harm.
Cornell has been riding competitively since she was 12, according to her mother, Fran Cornell, and her community is standing strong in supporting her recovery, as well as her family. Some of the riders offered to help her look after her horses until Jami Cornell recovered enough to do it herself.
“My daughter knows people from all over…and people are reaching out everywhere and asking what they can do,” said Cornell’s mother, Fran Cornell.
At a show hosted by the Carrol County Western Circuit, organizers donated half the proceeds of a 50/50 raffle towards Jami Cornell’s medical expenses, and an upcoming show in Pennsylvania will contribute money to T -shirts sold to the family.
“It’s amazing the amount of support,” said Fran Cornell.
According to her mother, Jami Cornell has competed in the Open and Adult premier division competitions for the past four years, winning approximately seven saddles in the International Barrell Racing Association (IBRA) for Maryland, which qualifies her for the national finals in Indiana, starting September 26.
“Jami’s main focus is his horses,” his mother said. “She shows all year – she constantly rolls.”
Fran Cornell described her daughter as someone willing to “give you the shirt off her back”. In 2021, due to COVID, the Maryland IBRA did not have enough money to purchase saddles for every division winner, and there was one adult rider who would have won her first trophy saddle. To ensure this moment, Jami Cornell volunteered to give up her own saddle to the first winner.
On Monday, Fran Cornell said Jami Cornell is expected to leave intensive care soon, if his breathing and pacing tests come back with some results. She will continue to see a pulmonologist.
“She listened to some tapes that people sent in, and I read some extra cards to her,” Fran Cornell wrote in an update on Gofundme, which has raised $9,000 for expenses so far. “April at the barn took her a picture that I’ll bring her when she changes rooms.”
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