Alabama Yellowhammer 3 Day Pioneer Endurance Ride
March 15-17, 2018
Talladega National Forest, Alabama

Ride Organizer: Christo Dinkelmann         678.850.6613

Ride Secretary: Eric Reuter


Registration:  Pre-Registration deadline postmarked by March 9.

Email changes  to

Click here for on-line registration

Click here for printable registration

On-Site Registration/Check-in: Pick up ride packets from Eric at the registration table near the vet check beginning after noon each day. Vetting in will begin around 2 pm.  Schedules will be posted near the registration desk to keep participants informed.

Entry Fee: Includes a $20 non-refundable deposit (2018)

Senior Registration on or before March 10:   AERC = $100/day (25/30/50/55mi)                                           Non AERC = $115/day

Senior Registration on or before March 10: AERC = $120 (75mi) Non AERC = $135

Senior Registration after March 10:                 AERC = $110/day  Non AERC = $125/day (25/30/50/55mi) Senior Registration after March 10:                 AERC = $130 (75mi) NON AERC += $145 (75mi)               Junior Rider:  (ALL DISTANCES):                      AERC = $5o/day Non AERC =  $60/day                                         Junior Rider:  after March 10:                             AERC = $60/day  NON AERC = $75/day

Saturday Fun Run (Seniors & Juniors):           $50

Discount to ride 3 days:                                          Riding 3 days - 25% from total

Teams get a 25% discount on their entry for the 2 day team event                                                                        Refund Policy: Refunds made anytime prior to start of ride (excluding $20 deposit).

          Not an AERC member?

Junior Riders: Riders under the age of 16 must be sponsored by an adult rider over 21.  Changes in sponsors may only happen in the vet check and must be approved by ride management.  Minimum rider age is 8.

Ride Distances:   (More info about the trails below)

Introductory 10 mile ride on all three days

        Thursday: 10mi/   30mi/   55mi/   75mi   

        Friday:       10mi/     25mi/     50mi (50mi team event)

        Saturday:  10mi/     25mi/     50mi (50mi team event)


Awards:  There will be daily prizes for 1st Place, Best Condition, 1st per Weight Division, Middle of the pack, and Turtle. 

Rules: AERC, SEDRA and SERA rules apply.  Negative Coggins required.  Helmets required when mounted for ALL, including non-riding guests. Horses must be 5 years old to enter the Endurance distances and 4 years old to enter Limited Distances. Dogs should be contained while rider is out of camp. Generators on at 5:30 am and off at 10 pm.

Location: Eastern Alabama, north of I-20 in the Talladega National Forest, Warden Station Horse Camp, off Highway 78.


From I-20 in Georgia, take the exit for Ga Highway 100 North to Tallapoosa, turn left onto Highway 78 West.

From I-20 in Alabama, take the exit for Highway 9 North to Heflin, then take Highway 78 East. 

Enter into your GPS: County Road 61, Fruithurst, AL.  

From Highway 78, you will turn north onto County Road 61 at the USFS sign, which is across the road from the Cane Creek Fire Station between Edwardsville and Fruithurst, Alabama.  

Travel 7-8 miles north on County Road 61, and you will take a right onto County Road 532 (there is a sign that points you toward Coleman Lake Campground and the horse camp).   All roads to camp are paved and easy to travel.  

Warden Station Horse Camp will be 100 yards on your right. Park tightly to ensure space for all. Warden Station Horse Camp contains several camping loops. The first loop on the right is reserved for day riders who will share the trails with us, so please do not camp there.   The first loop on the left is the vet check and registration area and is reserved for volunteers.  There are two loops beyond the vet check.  PARKING IS TIGHT, SO DO NOT SPREAD OUT WIDE. Camping is primitive.  Horse water is available. Showers may be purchased at the kiosk at Coleman Lake Campground 1 mile away. 

Parking/Camping:  Pay for your camping at the USFS kiosk upon arrival, after parking.  It is $6/day per rig. Display your stub so that the USFS Rangers will not fine you.  We will try to assist with parking once things get tight, so ask for help at registration if you arrive late.  

Meetings: All meetings are held at the pavilion toward the front of camp. 

New Riders meeting will begin at 6 pm.

Pre-ride meetings will begin at 7 pm.  

Meals:  No meals will be provided except for volunteers. 

Schedule: All schedules and daily trails will be posted near registration in camp and updated regularly. 

Ride Management & Support:

Ride Organizer: Christo Dinkelmann 678.850.6613.  (There is no phone signal in camp.)

Ride Secretary: Eric Reuter.  For registration changes email in advance

Veterinarians: Ken Marcella, DVM; DeeDee Huff, DVM; Scot Hanson, DVM. Art King, DVM  (2018)

Farrier: Nathan Busby 601.600.6831. Available starting Wednesday. Contact for advance appointments. (2018)

Timers:  Nancy, Sam, Laurie, Carol, and more. (2018)

Photographer: Maria Phillips (2018) 

Equine Body Worker:  Kathy Tow 423.802.8026 or  Contact for advance appointments. (2018)

Volunteers/Safety:  We have a group of amateur radio operators who come to Yellowhammer for emergency training. They will have a home base in camp near the vet check, and they will have radio operators stationed at various points on the trail to act as spotters.  They will be taking rider numbers at some spots, and they will be able to radio camp for help in case of emergency. 

Horse Trails:  The horse trails consist of a mixture of old roadbeds and single track forest trails.  It is a mountainous area with some rock.  Hoof protection is recommended.  All trails are technical, not flat, but not super challenging.  There is  natural water, water crossings, and there will be water placed on trail by dedicated volunteer Tim Clark. Thank Tim for his service.

As a newby, DO NOT plan to go fast.  Winners and top tenners of any distance are experienced competitors. To finish is to win; but if you or your horse are having a hard time, you may consult the Control Judge, aka ride veterinarian, about whether you should continue down the trail or withdraw.

What to expect: An endurance ride is a equine race over long distance, but this sport is much like human foot races in that our motto is: To finish is to win.  Only the experienced horses and riders actually race.  It is managed by a Control Judge, who is a veterinarian, and his or her staff will inspect horses at regular intervals for fitness to continue.  Welfare of the horse is top priority.  Riders will be eliminated if their horse is deemed not fit to continue.  Safety of all involved - riders and staff - is also top priority.  You are responsible for handling your horse safely and exhibiting good trail etiquette.  Everyone is here to have fun, and we are proud that this is a uniquely inclusive equestrian sport.  

Want to know more? Have questions? Please contact ride management if you would like to learn more about endurance riding.  You can read more about endurance riding at the American Endurance Ride Conference website and can read more about riding in the Southeast by visiting the Southeast Endurance Riders Association website Southeast USA Endurance, or the Southeast Distance Riders Association

Want to help out? The best way to learn about endurance is to volunteer at a vet check.  At a three-day ride you can volunteer one day and ride another.  We start early in the morning and end late afternoon, so it's a full day, but you will learn more than you ever will just reading a handbook.  This is a friendly, inclusive sport.  Contact management about reserving a learning volunteer position in advance.  Volunteers are fed, watered and greatly appreciated.  Just bring a chair, a good attitude, and be ready to listen and learn.

Tips: If you want to give endurance a try at Yellowhammer, enter a limited distance ride.  Attend the new riders meeting the night before you ride.  Bring an experienced trail or hacking horse who has good manners around people and other horses for safety purposes, and read as much as you can about endurance prior to coming.  For safety, be familiar with colored warning ribbons in horses' tails: Green for a green horse or rider, yellow for a stallion, red for a kicker. Purple ribbons indicate an experienced endurance rider who is willing to offer a hand to a person in need of assistance or information.  Bring a ribbon if you need it, and take note of ribbons on other horses, giving them a wide berth and slowing for green beans. 

Management, volunteers, and veterinarians are there to help you get through your ride.  We want you to be successful and come back next year.  Ask questions and keep the health of your horse your number one priority.  Be prepared with knowledge!