Joyce Ann Wyatt, 81, of Claysville passed into eternity with her Father in Heaven March 26, 2017, in Grove City Medical Center, Grove City. Born May 29, 1935 in Springdale, she was a daughter of the late Adrian “AJ” and Janet McNally Girard.
Ms. Wyatt was a 1953 graduate of Springdale High School where she held office in the Student Council and National Honor Society, was a majorette and on the swim team.
Joyce had a love and obsession, as she called it, with horses since her first memories. She purchased her first horse with money saved from her first job without telling her parents. She began making her mark in the horse world “Back in the Day” where she was known as a serious barrel racer. From there she went on to become a famed trainer, breeder, exhibitor, and one of the most influential business women in the professional equine industry.
In 1959, Joyce was wed for a brief time to William R. Bradford, the father of her son, William “Billy” Bradford. At this time she boarded her first horse and worked part-time for the stable owners. She made use of the tack room for her son’s playroom.
Then in 1965, Ms. Wyatt was wed to, Haskell “Oakie” Wyatt. Two years later they purchased a farm in Claysville where together they produced some of the greatest world-renown horses of their times. Joyce in particular exhibited and shown in many different events such as Halter, Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle, Trail, Pleasure Driving, Barrel Racing, Pole Bending, and Goat Tying. It has been said that “There wasn’t anything she couldn’t do with a horse and she could get on any horse anywhere and make it look good.”
Ms. Wyatt became a respected and accomplished AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) judge in 1978 and was known for being tough and unbiased in the ring and an advocate for the horse. She served the industry and represented the association in that capacity throughout the U.S., Canada, Belgium, Denmark, England, Great Britain, Italy, Australia, and Germany. Here in the states Joyce attended as a judge at the most prominent events such as the All American Quarter Horse Congress and Appaloosa World and National Shows. She had been a Ring Steward at the AQHA World Show. She was also a well sought after and largely recognized judge for the American Paint Horse, Palomino and Pinto Horse Associations. She also judged various intercollegiate, 4-H and NSBA events.
During this time she also acted as an AQHA Director, Chaired the English Sub-Committee and one of her most treasured positions was being Chairman of the AQHA Show Committee. Joyce was also deeply involved with the PQHA (Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association) and served as a Director and Futurity Chairman.
Because of Ms. Wyatt’s momentous influence on individuals and the industry she has received the most prestigious awards. Joyce was selected by a panel of her peers in the industry to be honored as the “2002 Professional Horse Woman of the Year Award” by the American Quarter Horse Association. She as well received the special recognition of “Director at Large” from the AQHA in 2005. Additionally, in 2013 Joyce was inducted into the Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame. At this time the American Quarter Horse Foundation sponsored the “Joyce Wyatt Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Youth Scholarship” which is still active and available today.
Upon retirement in 1995, Ms. Wyatt became more involved in her church and community affairs. She was a member of the Claysville United Methodist Church where she served as Treasurer, Member of the Council, Stewardship and Finance and Trustees Committees
Ms. Wyatt has always encouraged people to believe in themselves and had a strong interest in youth. She spent a decade working and volunteering at the “Mel Blount Youth Home” in Claysville where inner-city youth visit to learn life lessons from the horses. Joyce also volunteered much time to the Faith in Action Service which aids the elderly in transportation, shopping, etc.
Ms. Wyatt is survived by son William G. Bradford, his significant other and her caretaker Ragean Lee, a granddaughter Stevie Lynn Bradford, a step-son David Wyatt. Preceding in death are her parents, two husbands whom she loved very much, William R. Bradford and Haskell “Oakie” Wyatt, two step-sons Ronald Wyatt and Donald Wyatt and a sister Geraldine Daniels.
Ms. Joyce Wyatt has left a legacy of excellence to follow and will forever be appreciated and admired by all that ever crossed her trail. Ride On!
Friends will be received Friday, March 31, 2017 from 2-4 pm & 6-8 pm at the Claysville United Methodist Church 1279 State Route 40 W. Claysville, PA 15323 Additional visitation Saturday from 9 am until 11am time of funeral service . Funeral arrangements are being handled by Young Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc. 219 Main Street Claysville, PA 15323 (724) 663-7373 www.youngfhinc.com
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Claysville United Methodist Church, Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association, Mel Blount Youth Home, Faith in Action Service, or the St. Jude’s Children Hospital.