There’s an old saying in the south… If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes, and 2017 was no different, but this time mother nature had it a bit backwards. In January and February we had a lot of unseasonable early warmer weather, at one point even pushing 80 degrees!! Things were looking promising for the 2017 Alabama Yellowhammer Pioneer Endurance Ride scheduled for March 16th -18th, and then that old saying took place. The temperatures began to drop quickly and rain moved in, not a good combination for horses and riders, but the contest still went on.

Each year the coordinators of the Alabama Yellowhammer Pioneer Endurance Ride event call upon local amateur radio operators to assist with the score keeping as well as emergency communications due to the lack of cell phone coverage in the race area. This year those skills were called upon as a rider was thrown from a spooked horse inside the horse camp. Although there were on-site first responders and other trained medical staff, it was serious enough that the rider had to be evacuated by helicopter to the local hospital.

Day number 2 and 3 weren’t as eventful medical wise, but the horse and riders came to race, and race they did!! In the end, this was a successful and fun-filled weekend for all, and hopefully next year mother nature won’t be so confused.