Dream it. Believe it. Achieve it.

 "The starting point of all achievement is desire." - Napoleon Hill

Twelve days of intense equine medicine in Bogota, Colombia... twelve days of the many challenges that come with international travel for veterinarians, athletes, and horses... twelve days of around-the-clock nail biting anticipation, hope, and strategic planning... but in just twelve days, a remarkable journey of many years arrives at a worthy and fulfilling milestone... made of dreams, hard work, serious commitment and unwavering dedication.

Eventing Team Bronze for Barbados at the Central American and Carribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla, Colombia.
While Dr. Jay was away and since his return, we've been fielding lots of questions about this amazing opportunity and experience. So here's a recap:
Why Barbados? And how did Dr. Joyce become Barbados' Team Veterinarian?

The Joyce family has a 20+ year history with several families on Barbados. And for nearly 10 years, Dr. Jay has overseen the care of these talented horses. This involves working closely with equine veterinarians on the island and in different U.S. areas to solve complex lameness issues and corroborate on the horses' maintenance regime. As these performance horses migrated into international competition, it was determined by both the Barbados Olympic Association and the Barbados Equestrian Association that Dr. Joyce's expertise, affiliations, and experience matched the team's dedication, commitment, and desire to compete at an international level. 

The challenging journey gained momentum more than a year ago with multiple visits to Barbados to track and monitor the horses as the team honed in on the CAC Games. He corroborated significantly with local veterinarians, crafted detailed treatment plans, and advised closely with their world renowned eventing trainer, Joss Gray. To compensate for the distance, there were frequently transferred videos, exam findings, and diagnostic imaging when it wasn't feasible to get to the island immediately. And as the horses transitioned to the United States in the final months leading up to the CAC Games, the coordination intensified and continued with leading veterinarians in Kentucky, Georgia, and Florida.

"My duty to deliver three sound and healthy horses to compete in the CAC Games was fulfilled. And like every horse, these three had their up and downs, good and bad days, and needed diligent management."
- Dr. Jay Joyce

What does a Team Veterinarian do prior to the Games?

  • Responsible for the soundness of all the horses
  • Partners with trainers and riders to ensure work level does not jeopardize soundness
  • Manage joint and soft tissue health and maintenance
  • Verify FEI compliance

What does the Team Veterinarian do at the Games?

  • Assist in receiving of horses from flight
  • Continue tracking soundness
  • Monitor workouts for possible issues
  • Develop and maintain medication plans to assist the horses
  • Practice and observe FEI jogs to ensure acceptance to the Games
  • Twice a day laser (before and after work) and physical therapies including icing and massage
  • Precise calculations of permissible medications timed to the hour to ensure compliance within testable limits
  • Competition review and feedback to trainer and rider
  • Assist in the preparation for airborne departure
  • Be ready for any equine emergency, treat the horse, and serve as their advocate
  • Maintain responsibility for the horse's overall well-being and ensure the horses are not pushed beyond their abilities. Advocate for the horse.

What are the benefits to the Team Veterinarian?

  • International collaboration and discussion
  • Exchange of ideas and methods
  • Friendship and consultation
  • Sustained education and international exposure
  • While not in the spotlight or on the podium, having the quiet confidence knowing your efforts made it all possible
"The journey to get these horses to the games started more than two years ago... and these remarkable horses and riders did it. Barbados went alongside powerhouse countries like Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia and proved that tenacity, grit, determination, and a great team can win medals!"
- Dr. Jay Joyce
"While the CAC Games were a great experience, I am looking ahead to implement some of the experiences, ideas, and methodologies acquired from other collaborating veterinarians. As TEVA's veterinarians grow, so does the level and breadth of care afforded every TEVA patient regardless of work level. Being comfortable, pain-free, and healthy for life is not just for competition horses."
- Dr. Jay Joyce

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