Joyce Wyatt Dies

AQHA Director at Large Joyce Wyatt died March 26.

Legacy.com

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Claysville United Methodist Church, Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association, Mel Blount Youth Home, Faith in Action Service or St. Jude's Children Hospital.

Joyce Ann Wyatt, 81, of Claysville, passed into eternity with her Father in Heaven, Sunday, March 26, 2017, in Grove City Medical Center. Born May 29, 1935, in Springdale, she was a daughter of the late Adrian "AJ" and Janet McNally Girard. Wyatt was a 1953 graduate of Springdale High School, where she held office in student council and National Honor Society, was a majorette and on the swim team. She 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, she 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, 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-renowned horses of their times. She, in particular, exhibited and showed 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." 

Wyatt became a respected and accomplished American Quarter Horse Association judge in 1978 and was known for being tough and unbiased in the ring and an advocate for horses. She served the industry and represented the association in that capacity throughout the United States, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, England, Great Britain, Italy, Australia and Germany. Here in the states, she attended as a judge the most prominent events, such as All-American Quarter Horse Congress and Appaloosa World and National Shows. She was a ring steward at the AQHA World Show. She also was 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. She was also deeply involved with the Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association and served as a director and futurity chairman. Because of Wyatt's momentous influence on individuals and the industry, she received the most prestigious awards. She was selected by a panel of her peers in the industry to be honored with the "2002 Professional Horse Woman of the Year Award" by AQHA. She also received the special recognition of "Director at Large" from AQHA in 2005. Additionally, in 2013 she 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, Wyatt became more involved in her church and community affairs. She was a member of Claysville United Methodist Church, where she served as treasurer, member of the council, stewardship and finance and trustees committees. Wyatt has always encouraged people to believe in themselves and had a strong interest in youth. She spent a decade working and volunteering at Mel Blount Youth Home in Claysville, where inner-city youth visit to learn life lessons from the horses. She also volunteered much time to the Faith in Action Service, which aids the elderly in transportation, shopping, etc. 

Wyatt is survived by son William G. Bradford and his significant other; her caretaker Ragean Lee; granddaughter Stevie Lynn Bradford; and stepson David Wyatt. Preceding in death are her parents; two husbands whom she loved very much, William R. Bradford and Haskell "Oakie" Wyatt; two stepsons, Ronald Wyatt and Donald Wyatt; and sister Geraldine Daniels. 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 were received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 31, in Claysville United Methodist Church, 1279 State Route 40 West, Claysville, PA 15323. Additional visitation from 9 to 11 a.m., the time of funeral service, Saturday. Funeral arrangements were handled by Young Funeral Home and 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 Claysville United Methodist Church, Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association, Mel Blount Youth Home, Faith in Action Service or St. Jude's Children Hospital. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/observer-reporter/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=184728019#sthash.QvcBkS76.dpuf