Always Hope: How Dairy Cows and Arabian Horses Inspired Grit in a Young Girl’s Life Earns Author Hope Ellis-Ashburn EQUUS Film and Arts Festival Literary Award

The EQUUS Film and Arts Festival has named Hope Ellis-Ashburn as the 2019 Literary Award winner in the Best Memoir category for her book, Always Hope: How dairy cows and Arabian horses inspired grit in a young girl's life. The award was announced at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky during the 7th annual EQUUS Film and Arts Festival.

The EQUUS Film and Arts Festival showcases equestrian themed content from multiple countries and many states from within the USA and includes documentaries, both feature and short films, commercials, music videos, and educational content in addition to art and literature.

As a freelance equestrian journalist, Hope’s work has appeared in such luminary publications as EQUUS, Horse Illustrated, Arabian Horse Life, the American Quarter Horse Journal, Hoof Beats, Sidelines, and U.S. Equestrian magazines in addition to website. In 2016 she was named the winner of Zoetis’s EQ Stable Equine Blogger Challenge. She has recently begun adding new agricultural based clients outside of the equestrian world.  Always Hope, which debuted on Amazon as a number one new release in Horse Riding and Equestrian Sports, is her second book.

“I am thrilled that Always Hope has earned the 2019 EQUUS Film and Arts Festival Literary Award for Best Memoir,” said Hope Ellis-Ashburn, the book’s author. "It is indeed a special honor to receive such an award among such quality books and authors."

Praise for Always Hope:

“Hope Ellis-Ashburn takes readers through the tenacity, challenge, and also the pride of hard work one develops from growing up on a southern farm. In her memoir, Hope reflects on how rich life becomes when one respects her roots, yet travels her own path, develops a strong work ethic, and finds love in both a special horse and human. An educational and enjoyable read!” – Carly Kade, Author of the In the Reins series

“Farmers possess grit, and some transmit that quality to their daughters in an even grittier form. Hope Ellis-Ashburn's stories of learned resiliency from her childhood experiences on a Tennessee farm will make you smile, laugh and sometimes shake your head. From learning how to drive a tractor before attending kindergarten, to becoming an expert on cow reproduction via hands-on experience with artificial insemination, Hope's memoir of farm life is reminiscent of Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Wall and the beloved Little House on the Prairie books of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Whether you're longing for a simpler time, or simply an afternoon of entertaining diversion, you'll enjoy reading Always Hope. – Susan Friedland-Smith, author of Horses Adored and Men Endured and blogger at

"Always Hope is a poignant memoir describing growing up as a young female in rural Tennessee. This is a unique perspective on the stereotypical role of the Southern woman. Hope Ellis-Ashburn describes her upbringing in vivid detail, showcasing her life as the daughter of a poor, but a loving and hardworking dairy farmer. The often tough, but valuable life lessons created a strong and successful woman she is today. The overarching theme is a life dedicated to caring for and working with animals and the profound meaning these relationships have had on her life." – Heather Wallace, author of The Equestrian Handbook of Excuses, Confessions of a Timid Rider, and Girl Forward

About Hope Ellis-Ashburn
Hope Ellis-Ashburn is a former award-winning extension agent with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and holds a teaching credential, among others, in agricultural education. She wears many hats including wife, mother, high school teacher, farmer, and author. Hope has a master of science degree in agricultural education and a bachelor of science degree in animal science with an emphasis in horse science. During her undergraduate years at MTSU, she was a member of the horse judging and equestrian teams. She has been a horse owner for over thirty years.

Hope enjoys riding in a variety of disciplines with her half-Arabian mare including hunters, western, and trail riding. She and her family live on a Tennessee Century Farm where they raise hay and black Angus cattle in a cow/calf beef operation. She and her family reside in their remodeled 1927 farm house that once belonged to her husband’s grandparents.

Visit Hope’s website, Red Horse on a Red Hill, where she shares her published works on topics ranging from horse health, to farm management, to true stories of her life with horses.

Connect with Hope on Facebook, @redhorseonaredhill01, Instagram, @red_horse_on_a_red_hill, and Twitter, @HopeAshburn

Red Horse on a Red Hill
(423) 718-6241

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