Kellie Gibbs was born in Independence, Missouri. SGrowing upp in Waterloo, Iowa, she developed a passion for horses and photography. During her adult years she worked as a photojournalist and writer, and produced, filmed and edited documentaries on social and international development issues. In her forties she rediscovered her love of horses when she turned her attention to rescuing slaughter-bound and at-risk horses. She started The Epona Project, a rescue operation located in Castle Rock, Colorado, that primarily rescued mustangs and Arabians. She had an uncanny ability to gentle wild and abused horses and specialized in getting them under saddle "sanely and humanely." Many who watched her magic called her a horse whisperer but she called herself a "student of the horse." Her equine photography revealed the unique personalities and beauty of her subjects. In 2006, a show titled Equinicity: Our Journey with the Horse featuring almost one hundred photographs toured public libraries throughout the state of Colorado. In December, 2008, at the age of 47, Kellie died unexpectedly from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. She was outside on the Epona Ranch, surrounded by her beloved equine friends when she passed away.