"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."
- Theodore Roosevelt
Dr. Jay Joyce epitomizes this. Not a day goes by that doesn't involve some facet of equine medicine. From suturing wounds and lameness evaluations to education and community service, Dr. Joyce's life is his work and his work is his passion. He never ceases to surprise his family, the TEVA team, and our clients with his amazing humanitarianism and herculean efforts to serve the equine industry in EVERY way imaginable.
With excitement and envy, and without hesitation, this morning we sent Dr. Jay off to Bogota, Colombia, South America - for 12 days. There, he will be serving as the Official Team Veterinarian for the Barbados Equestrian Team as they compete in the 2018 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games being held in Barranquilla and Bogota.
While he will surely be missed on the home front, we proudly stand behind him as his ten-year journey with this special group of avid equestrians from Barbados reaches yet another pinnacle.
Over the years, we've highlighted visits by Dr. Jay and Paula Joyce to Barbados. Amidst the beautiful scenery were long, hot days of tiresome work to support several Barbados riders and their horses while they vied for recognition on the global circuit. There's no rest for the wicked.
But many wonder, how did all of this begin?
This incredible journey started about 10 years ago when Paula introduced Dr. Jay to her "Bajan" friend, Monique Archer, who happened to be an avid equestrian. She in turn introduced Dr. Jay to other fellow Bajan equestrians and relationships were formed among friends and between horse owners and veterinarian. This is the point that starts an epic tale of inspiration, determination, and national pride by these wholeheartedly committed Bajan athletes.
Dr. Jay and Paula have done everything in their power to support this amazing group. Dr. Jay works very closely with several performance horse owners on the island as they evolved from Polo to Stadium Jumping and finally to Eventing, and Paula says "I've been fortunate enough to be Jay's veterinary technician and live vicariously through him and my very skilled equestrian friends." The entire journey of the Barbados competitors has been exciting to witness as they competed in different events held in the United States as part of their qualifiers.
It is because of this never-ending commitment by the Joyce family to the Bajan team and their mission to get Barbados recognized as a regional competitor (and elevate awareness of equestrian sports both on and off the island) that has earned Dr. Jay the title of Team Veterinarian by the Barbados Olympic Commission as part of the Official Delegation representing Barbados in the CAC Games in Colombia this coming week.
Dr. Jay is attending the games in support of these remarkable athletes - both horses and riders. The Barbados team, including Dr. Jay, has skillfully managed the daily grind of training, competitions, qualifying, horse care, logistics, and transportation between Barbados and the USA and now to Colombia. It's daunting to imagine much of this being done from an island.
Years of effort by so many is now culminating in Barbados' rare appearance in international games. For the FIRST time in Barbados history, they are representing in Eventing, and even greater, they have three Eventers working as a team. That means both Individual AND Team awards are possible. And if all goes well, the team hopes to qualify for the Pan Am Games in 2019 and the Olympic Games in 2020.
So, what's next?
So, Dr. Jay's first task will be working with the trainer, Joss Gray, to receive the horses at the airport. The horses will be arriving ahead of the riders to allow them to acclimate to the high altitude of Bogota. The CAC Games begin on 20 July.
For the next two weeks, all TEVA friends and family are named honorary "Bajans," and we hope you'll join us in supporting this remarkable team. Their Bajan spirit is indomitable and their motivation runs deeper than we can even imagine.
Stay tuned as Dr. Jay plans to give more background into his family's involvement with the group and the journey to get here and share biographies of the riders and trainers, and horses too. Of course, no trip of this magnitude would be complete without daily reports and photos from the competition.
Follow TEVA on Facebook to watch the journey unfold.
Passion truly has no boundaries. Go Team Barbados!
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