A Touch of Class

Growing up as a horse lover in Maryland, I never imagined I would win an award like Maryland’s Touch of Class Award someday. The Touch of Class Award honors Maryland horses, individuals, teams, organizations, or events that demonstrate national or international excellence. The Maryland Horse Industry Board honored me and my second book, Believing In Horses, Too, for  our winning entry in the 2019 EQUUS Film and Arts Festival Literary Awards.

The Department of Agriculture’s Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) presented the award at Maryland Horse Council’s Virtual Annual Meeting in Nov. 17, 2020. MHIB Executive Director Ross Peddicord said, “We have so many talented artists in Maryland – writers, artists, filmmakers, photographers, and more – and Valerie is one of them.”

MHIB’s official announcement read, “Valerie Ormond’s second novel, Believing In Horses, Too, won a Gold Medal in the Military Writers Society of America Book Awards; 1st Place in The Authors’ Zone Book Awards; Best Y.A. Fiction in the Stroud Arts Book Festival; Best Book in Juvenile Fiction in the Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, and Best Veterans Fiction in the EQUUS Film and Arts Festival Literary Award. Congratulations!”

Past winners of the Touch of Class award have been world champion Maryland horses, mules, and riders. Disciplines have included dressage, eventing, hunters, jumpers, jousting, steeplechase, polo, mounted shooting, rodeo, driving, pentathlon, polocrosse, endurance, therapy, and racing. Individual winners have been barn owners, facility managers, horse trainers, competitors, breeders, filmmakers, writers, and photographers. Maryland established the prestigious Touch of Class Awards program in September 2011.

The award is personally rewarding to me as I see my Believing In Horses books as a coalescence of my horse, military, research, and writing experiences. The Believing In Horses, Too story is based in Maryland and highlights equine therapies, show competition, rescue horses, veterans, and military families. I appreciate the state of Maryland for supporting me and my work with this remarkable touch of class.

 

 

Enjoy the Magic Equestrian Moments of 2017

Relive the wonderful equestrian moments of 2017 through these photos and videos of horses in freedom, training, competition, and in their natural habitat. Thank you to Arnd Bronkhorst Photography for this beautiful gift to share with Believing In Horses blog readers.

Watch the video here: https://vimeo.com/247117227

[Read more…]

A Fun, Timely, Sensitive, and Perceptive Story

blog_oct_2016 blog_oct_2016_2

By Valerie Ormond

J.B. Max Publishing, 2014

ISBN 978-0-9736330-4-7

Fiction, 246 pages

Soft Cover, Kindle

Reviewed by Margaret Evans

“Sadie felt so isolated. She couldn’t share or communicate her worry with her family. And living in a community with no other military people, no one else would understand. So she lived a life of constant secret fear which grew every day. She needed a distraction.” [Read more…]

Learning Something New Every Day

Being Secretary of the Maryland Horse Council is not always that secretarial. Take for instance, this past weekend’s Maryland Horse Council Annual Barbeque, when I had the opportunity to play polo on the Maryland Horse Council Executive Committee’s team.

Valerie Ormond (left), Grace Fulton (center), and Jaime Navarro (right). Photo by Sue O'Donnell.

Valerie Ormond (left), Grace Fulton (center), and Jaime Navarro (right). Photos and videos by Sue O’Donnell.

[Read more…]

What Are Your Chances of Being an Olympian?

An equestrian enthusiast and fan of this blog, Jenn Bohman, sent me this graphic I’m about to share with you. Jenn thought you, my readers, particularly the equestrians in the crowd, might be interested.  I hope you are, and if you normally visit my blog to read about writing, well, take a break from writing and catch some Olympic spirit in the final days.

I, like many, have been caught up in serious Olympic fever over these past few weeks. I get so emotional watching athletes in all sports compete like they never have before to proudly represent their countries. So many highlights, and such class, demonstrated over and over again by both rookie and seasoned athletes. I get very emotional, cry a lot, and stay up way past my bedtime. But have you ever wondered what the odds for an athlete to actually reach the Olympic Games? [Read more…]

Judging a Writing Competition

Children's Writing Competition Poster I just participated as a judge in the first annual Voice For The Horse Children’s Writing Competition, on the topic of “Wild Horses.”  The founder of Voice For The Horse, Yvonne Allen, created the competition to provide an educational opportunity and to allow children to share their love for horses through their written words.  I agreed to be a judge for several reasons, but primarily because I felt a need to “give back,” and to encourage our next generation of writers.  Each entry inspired me — each a unique voice.  The children demonstrated dedication, passion, and a willingness to take a chance.  I loved their spirit. [Read more…]