elizabeth lawhorn cowgirl magazine

Elizabeth Lawhorn

Professional Title: Director of Performance Development, American Paint Horse Association
Age: 28
Home: West, Texas

Elizabeth grew up in Sugar Land, Texas, a suburb of Houston. Her love of horses and the equestrian lifestyle began with riding lessons at age 7, where she quickly became competitive in local hunter/jumper circuits. In high school she joined FFA, where she served in the chapter’s leadership and competed on the Horse Judging Team. There, Elizabeth was exposed to the agriculture industry and western horse disciplines. She then attended Texas A&M University and completed a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science with a Certificate in Equine Science and a Master of Agriculture in Equine Marketing. During her collegiate career, she also competed on the collegiate Horse Judging Team, served in leadership roles with the TAMU Horseman’s Association, and assisted in many Equine Extension events. Her passion for judging and education led her to the role of Director of Performance Development at the American Paint Horse Association. There she manages Paint Horse performance records and awards tabulation, stewards the Judge Department, and directs a variety of programs such as HorseIQ, APHA E-Shows, and the Paint Alternative Competition program. She also enjoys giving back to the competitive horse judging community by co-managing the APHA Youth and Collegiate Horse Judging contests each year. 

Vision for the future of women in the Western industry: As a woman at the beginning of my professional career, I am excited to see a number of women to look up to in leading positions at major equine associations today. It allows me to envision myself more easily in one of those positions someday. In the 2017 American Horse Council equine demographic study, it was estimated that 92.6% of horse owners are women. I believe that having more women in decision making positions in equine organizations and businesses in the future would improve their ability to understand what their primarily female market finds most important and generate more informed, meaningful changes. 

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