Teacher, author, and content creator, Hope Ellis-Ashburn, has earned a runner-up literary award for her latest book, Kimbrook Arabians: How an Unlikely Midwestern Couple Influenced an Ancient Breed, in the Equine History category at the 2021 EQUUS Film and Arts Fest. Held virtually this year, the award was announced during the organization’s 9th annual event.
This is Ellis-Ashburn’s second time to be honored by the organization. Her first award came in 2019 with a Best Memoir win for her book, Always Hope: How Dairy Cows and Arabian Horses Inspired Grit in a Young Girl’s Life. The EQUUS Film and Arts Fest showcases equestrian-themed content from around the globe including documentaries, both feature and short films, music videos, and educational content in addition to art and literature.
Beginning in 2015, content created by Ellis-Ashburn has been featured in such respected publications as EQUUS, Horse Illustrated, Arabian Horse Life, The American Quarter Horse Journal, Hoof Beats, Sidelines, US Equestrian, The Horse, The Sound Advocate, Experience Arabian Horses, and Hobby Farms magazines.
“I am thrilled that Kimbrook Arabians has earned a runner-up award literary award in the Equine History category at the 2021 EQUUS Film and Arts Fest,” Ellis-Ashburn said. “It is indeed a special honor to receive such an award from among a long list of quality books and authors.”
Ellis-Ashburn’s roles as a friend and employee of the owners and an owner of horses from the Kimbrook Arabians program profoundly influenced her to document the breeding program’s successes. She describes the book as follows, “Nothing about Bill and Joanne Gutknecht’s history indicated that they would one day breed an Arabian National Champion. He was ex-military and, among several careers, owned and operated a pet boarding and cemetery business. She worked in a clipper-manufacturing factory. Neither came from a rural background. Instead, both bred, trained, and showed German Shepherd dogs. The saga of Kimbrook Arabians features an unlikely couple from the Midwest who not only founded a small breeding program during the Golden Age of the Arabian horse but also bred a number of champions. Kimbrook’s influence has continued for over fifty years, and descendants of the farm’s foundation stock can still be found throughout the United States. The Gutknechts’ program is one of the few Arabian breeding programs that started in the late 1960s and survived into the 2000s. Kimbrook Arabians reveals the improbable influence this unusual couple had on an ancient breed.”
Here’s what readers have to say about Kimbrook Arabians:
“Honest and thorough; includes photos whenever possible. Portrait of a small Arabian horse breeding farm that produced some outstanding horses. Warning: some sad facts as well as triumphs; may bring tears as well as happy memories,” A.J.N.
“The book details the history of the Kimbrook Arabians in an interesting and factual series. She also included many stories and pictures relating to the Arabian’s personality! Enjoyed this book and recommend it to all who are interested in the linage of these beautiful animals,” L.S.
“This book dives into how an unsuspecting couple influenced the Arabian breed. While very thorough and detailed, the book is captivating and will not let you put it down! Especially loved seeing pictures and candids of horses that were mentioned or their descendants,” D.B.
Ellis-Ashburn and her family make their home on a farm in Whitwell, Tennessee where they raise Black Angus cattle.
This book is currently available on Amazon at: Kimbrook Arabians: How an Unlikely Midwestern Couple Influenced an Ancient Breed
5200 Old Dunlap Road
Whitwell, Tennessee 37397