Horse Book and Author Win Touch of Class Award

Maryland Horse Industry Board Honors Author and Book

Valerie Ormond, author of Believing In Horses and Believing In Horses, Too, won the Maryland Horse Industry Board’s Touch of Class Award in 2020. The Touch of Class Award honors Maryland horses, individuals, teams, organizations, or events that demonstrate national or international excellence. The Department of Agriculture’s Maryland Horse Industry Board honored Ormond for her second book, Believing In Horses, Too in recognition for numerous awards, most recently a 2019 EQUUS Film and Arts Festival Literary Award.

The Board’s 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 stated, “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 include world champion Maryland horses, mules, and riders in disciplines ranging from dressage, eventing, hunters, jumpers, jousting, steeplechase, polo, mounted shooting, rodeo, driving, pentathlon, polocrosse, therapy, to racing. Individual winners have been barn owners, facility managers, horse trainers, competitors, breeders, filmmakers, writers, and photographers. Maryland began the Touch of Class Awards program in September 2011.

Ormond said, “This award is personally rewarding to me as I see my Believing In Horses books as a coalescing of my experiences with horses, the military, and writing. The Believing In Horses, Too story is based in Maryland, and I’m happy to share my home state with readers everywhere. I appreciate the state of Maryland for supporting me and my work with this honor.”

Ormond is a 25-year Navy veteran, the spouse of a veteran, and the daughter of a veteran. She used those experiences to write the fictional Believing In Horses, Too about a young girl in a military family who matures through her experiences with horses, people, and equine therapy. Ormond is currently working on her third book, Believing In Horses Out West.

For additional information, review copies, or media inquiries, please contact Valerie Ormond at

 About Valerie Ormond
Valerie Ormond retired after a 25-year career as a naval intelligence officer and founded her own business, Veteran Writing Services, LLC. Valerie’s novels, Believing In Horses and Believing In Horses, Too, tell stories of a strong-willed young girl overcoming challenges based on her love of horses. Both books won gold medals and first place awards in eight book competitions. Valerie’s non-fiction stories based on life experiences appear in numerous books, and magazines, newspapers, and blogs worldwide have also published her stories. For more information, please see her website at

 About the EQUUS Film and Arts Festival
The EQUUS Film and Arts Festival is the leading showcase for domestic and international equestrian content including feature films, shorts, documentaries, music videos, commercials, training, educational materials, art, and literature. The EQUUS Film Festival highlights and rewards the diverse and creative efforts of those who pay artistic homage to the horse. For additional information, please visit

Contact information:
Valerie Ormond

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