It’s been quite a year for 9-year-old Campbell Cornelius who recently won an array of awards, including the President’s Award, from the Indiana chapter of Pony of the Americas as well as four national high point titles with the POA organization.
Cornelius, the daughter of Megan and Kyle Cornelius of Washington, who just started showing in POA last year, claimed national titles with two ponies, Snickers and TJ. Those titles include national champion high point three year old gelding with TJ and national champion high point western pleasure walk/trot, national reserve champion high point hunter under saddle walk/trot and fifth place national high point in medium mare halter all with Snickers.
“I did two years of Mini 4-H and I showed horses there, but this was the first time I did POA,” said the spunky Cornelius who claimed exhibitor awards in her age division for showmanship (third place), horsemanship (fourth place) and hunt seat equitation (fourth place). “It’s been a lot of fun because I’ve been able to try different classes. This year I did western pleasure, trot, hunt seat and showmanship the most.”
As her confidence grew, she also started entering costume, trail, hunter under saddle and gaming classes.
“It’s really a lot of fun to show,” said Cornelius who will age up to the 10-13 group next year.
Most of those state-level awards Cornelius won with the help of her pony, Snickers.
The duo won high point awards in walk jog and walk trot classes and claimed the reserve spot in the four and older medium mare class. They also took third place in the open costume contest.
Snickers and his rider also earned a register of merit or ROM, a recognition given to those with outstanding achievement in halter and performance that is only earned once 500 points are earned in accredited shows.
TJ, who Cornelius has just started showing, earned reserve high point honors and third in gogo at the state level.
Megan Cornelius said part of the reason for joining POA was to not only help Campbell gain experience but also to developed friendships along the way.
“We’ve made friends all over the state and some from other states too,” said Megan, who said they traveled to events not only around the Hoosier state but Illinois and Ohio too. “The President’s Award is given by the board of directors of the Indiana POA to the youth that has shown the most growth this season. It’s been incredible to watch her confidence grow as she’s tried new things.”
Most of the events, the Cornelius’s said, offer family events where the participants get a chance to meet others outside of the show ring. Those events have also been fun for Campbell’s younger brother, Cash, who may start showing horses soon.
“It’s just a lot of fun. We have a great time,” said Megan.