UofL bestows equine entrepreneurship award to horsewoman, educator, equine career coach

December 10, 2020

Elizabeth James, Ph.D., with her horse, Ozzie. (Photo by Alaina Alderman)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville Equine Industry Program has named Elizabeth James, Ph.D., the 31st recipient of the John W. Galbreath Award for Outstanding Entrepreneurship in the Equine Industry.

James is a lifelong equine enthusiast who turned her love of horses into a career as an educator and equine career coach. She also co-founded the Liberty Horse Association, the first organization supporting the discipline of liberty training.

“I am most proud of the role I’ve gotten to play in helping other people accomplish their career goals. From students in higher education to clients as a coach, nothing has meant more to me than getting the call when they landed their dream job or their dreams were becoming reality,” James said.

For a decade, James served as a lecturer and internship coordinator at the University of Kentucky (UK), where she received her Ph.D. In 2018, she founded Equine Career Coach, an equine career coaching program, and co-founded the International Liberty Horse Association, the first association dedicated to the discipline of liberty training. In liberty training, the horse performs completely free of tack and equipment, instead relying on trust and attention to verbal or other cues from the handler. James earned her bachelor of science in animal science from the University of Nebraska and her master of science in animal biology from the University of California – Davis.

“Elizabeth epitomizes the cream of the crop when it comes to being a horsewoman: She has the academic background all the way through a Ph.D., has experience in many facets of the industry, from working with ranch horses to thoroughbreds, to owning and managing a horse training facility, to being an equine entrepreneur, to starting an association and launching a career coaching business,” said Fernanda C. Camargo, D.V.M., Ph.D., associate professor and equine extension specialist at UK, in nominating her for the award.

James said she is honored to be recognized by UofL.

Elizabeth James, Ph.D., with her horse, Ozzie. (Photo by Dan James)

“I have always seen UofL as the premier program when it comes to equine business, so to be recognized by these professionals carries more weight than I can say,” James said. “On top of that, to see the caliber of people who have won this award before me – people I admire, and to think a committee selected me to be among them is very humbling.”

Recipients of the Galbreath Award demonstrate original and creative techniques or approaches to business, a willingness to take personal or career risks, forward-thinking and visionary management planning, an ability to render a business firm or organization more effective and profitable and the respect of peers as evidence of character and integrity. The recipient is selected by a committee of faculty in the Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship in the UofL College of Business.

The award is named for the late John W. Galbreath, a self-made man who distinguished himself in both business and as a horseman. Previous Galbreath Award recipients include John A. Bell III, Cothran “Cot” Campbell and Judith Forbis. The 2019 winner was B. Wayne Hughes, who re-established Spendthrift Farm as one of the largest stallion stations in the world through innovative marketing techniques such as the “Share the Upside” program.

Press Release: University of Louisville

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