OAKHURST – A small, black pony with a white stripe on her face was last seen cruising down Road 426 towards Oakhurst, according to reports received by the Cornell family. In this case, the wayward one is not just any four-legged friend.
UPDATE: Carma’s pony Image was found on Monday, Mar. 9 by a neighbor not far from the family home, according to friend Tammi Kudra. Continue reading the original story:
The Cornells, including daughters Deja and Carma, mom Jachie and dad Matthew, live off of Road 426 and have owned the 5-year-old pony Image for about seven or eight months. The little pony named Image stands about 32″ tall.
Image is a vital provider of physical therapy to the Cornells’ youngest daughter Carma, 4 1/2, who is living with a rare form of brain cancer that affects her spinal cord and among other things, her ability to walk with ease.
“We bought Image from a pony ranch in Coarsegold so she could be helpful with physical therapy for Carma,” says Matt. “Riding Image helps loosen up Carma’s legs for walking. When she’s on the pony it makes her legs spread out, and when Carma’s legs are kicked out to the side as she rides, it helps loosen up the joints and improve her health and ability to walk.”
Having the pony also lifts Carma’s spirits and gives her a reason to get out of bed in the morning on days when she’s not feeling well.
“Her daily routine is to groom the horse, make sure Image has food and water, and Carma and her mom Jachie take the pony for a walk on the grass.” On the morning of Monday, Mar. 9, when Matt went out around 7:30 a.m. to check on Image, he immediately saw she was gone. “It looks like she had ripped the staples loose from one side of the post in her pen, and slipped out underneath.”
The family quickly mobilized and went to work searching, and later in the morning Jachie posted on Facebook that Image had gone missing. Someone replied to Jachie’s post that a pony had been spotted in the dark, around 1 a.m., walking toward Oakhurst on Road 426, somewhere between Coyote Ridge and Quail Ridge. People have been out looking around for the beloved pet and therapy animal ever since. It’s extremely important that Carma gets her pony back. She is reportedly “very sad” that Image is missing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Matthew Cornell at (559) 760-4707.
Read SNO’s story about Carma’s family fundraising efforts at Relay for Life.