A resilient mother and horsewoman

Sherald Joynt is a young senior who is old enough to realize that she may not get to everything on her bucket list, but she is giving it a darn good try. Throughout a story punctuated with deep disappointments, Joynt talks about all the good things that have come her way. She loves life.

Joynt has been Manager of Evergreen Place for 14 years. She has also been the caretaker of the 38-suite seniors’ residence for 18 years.

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“I love it,” she says of her daily routine. “I like coming to work, because I can do caretaking work, so you’re not stuck with paper work.”

Life has thrown Joynt some curve balls including the tragic loss of her 20-year-old son, Jody, in a plane crash.

Then a divorce at age 50 left her wondering what to do with her life.

At that time Joynt was concerned that her electrolysis business (in a beauty salon) wasn’t consistent enough. She was seeking a dependable income when the job at Evergreen Place opened up. It included a suite to live in.

Satisfying moments

At the top of her “lucky” list right now is the sale of her yearling Quarter Horse colt in the Manitoba Super Horse 50/50 Sale last weekend. Docs Cool Cajun Cat was purchased by Anna Fehr of Miami, Man.

“She emailed me today and said she was so pleased with him!” said excitedly.

While the love of horses is deep in her bones, Joynt’s love for her family is paramount.

“That IS my life, actually,” she stated earnestly.

Her daughter Laura Ketterer, also a horsewoman, lives at Dusty Rose Ranch in Bonndorf, Germany, where she raised two children, Janine and Justin Ketterer. They, too, share the family’s passion for horses.

“Justin is a good rider and a good trainer, but he doesn’t like the limelight,” said Joynt of her grandson. “He reminds me a lot of my son.”

Joynt has travelled to Germany to visit. Now, she has plans for travel to watch Janine compete in a World Reining event in Oklahoma. To add to the thrill, Janine has a good shot at winning Number One in her division.

Horses and 4-H

“When I was a child, my summers were spent riding ponies, training them and selling them. When I got older, Dad would load up the old grain truck and take ponies to the fairs.”

When she got married, they moved to Alberta for five years - without horses.

With a move back to the Virden area, it was her six-year-old daughter Laura who first got a pony.

“My daughter won some money on a ticket draw for a pair of boots.” She decided to take cash, instead.

“She bought herself a colt for $75… a brown and white pinto pony colt. Sugar Plum. I trained her.”

Before long Laura had outgrown Sugar Plum and sold her to brother Jody. She bought a Welsh-Arab cross.

The children joined 4-H and that was where Joynt got her start in judging horse events.

At an achievement day in Elkhorn the organizer asked her if she would step in and judge the event when the judge for the day failed to arrive. Having taken a keen interest and attended clinics, Joynt stepped in for the day.

“After I tried it, I started getting phone calls.” Her judging was in demand with other 4-H clubs.

“When I started judging at the local fairs, some judging clinics came up.” Joynt is particular. She likes to do things right. So she travelled to Brandon, Winnipeg, and Regina to clinics, honing her skill. She has judged all manner of equine events for 45 years.

Joynt is more than a judge. She is an encourager. As a clinician, she never wanted to ask her young horse and rider teams to do something that was beyond them.

“If either the child is not ready or the horse is not broke enough… then you can discourage those kids forever.”

Positive steps

“I’ve had really good times and I’ve had some hard times. I lost my son, and I lost my son-in-law. It’s tough….”

After 15 years of marriage to her daughter Laura, Joynt’s son-in-law Joachim Ketterer died unexpectedly. A firefighter, he was away to their annual conference. He suffered a seizure and died shortly after arriving at the conference.

However, his life had been spared many years earlier, shortly after marriage to Laura when, at the last minute, he decided not to take a fatal airplane ride.

It was a plane trip where Joynt’s son Jody was being shown around Germany and France by a young pilot friend. Four lives were lost in a mountain range in Europe, including that of Jody Joynt.

Joynt recalls comforting words of her father, words that settled her at the time. “Death and taxes – you can’t control.”

She also took positive steps to get over her loss, to be able to function again.

“The best thing I ever did was taking grief counselling.” Sessions were offered at Elkhorn and Joynt attended.

During the third session the counselor told them that while death is final, divorce can be even more difficult.

These sessions proved very valuable to Joynt, helping her to get over two very tough events in her life.

Joynt is an enthusiastic, resilient woman, as you can hear in her words.

“I’ve had more good things than bad things.” She appreciates the love and support of friends here, where she has lived almost her entire life.

© Virden Empire-Advance