WELCOME TO THE IRON DOG BRIGADE
An Honorary Society Dedicated To The Fun Of Snowmobiling
Three Dogs who have served and promoted
the sport for a combined 140 years are Bill Howell, Ed Skomoroh and Edgar Hetteen.
WHO ARE THESE IRON DOGS?
First of all, what is an Iron Dog?
Well, back in 1960 a guy named Edgar Hetteen took a ride across Alaska on a new contraption called a Polaris snowmobile. When the natives saw it, they promptly named it an ”iron dog” because it did the work of their dog teams and the term began to be a popular name for snowmobiles.
Iron Dog Attire
The official Iron Dog Brigade dress:
Navy Blue Blazer
Red Bolo Tie or Red Tie
It would be nice if all the male Dogs wore this uniform to the Banquet for the pictures.
The female Dogs are welcome to wear their Iron Dog outfit or another outfit of their choice.
When collecting tickets, please wear your IDB Dress Suit or IDB Polo Shirts and name tag. We want to be easily identified as Iron Dog Brigade Members. See Dog Bling for more info shirts & etc.
During the rest of the Congress events, if you are not wearing the “uniform” please be sure you have your Iron Dog name tag and pin on.
Iron Dog Memorabilia
We have been finding Iron Dog memorabilia for sale on the internet. Iron Dog memorabilia is for DOGS only. Please inform your family to dispose of your Iron Dog pins, bolo ties, clothing and etc, appropriately upon your demise. Or if you decide to no longer be an Iron Dog, please properly dispose of your Iron
Ways to dispose of Memorabilia:
Give items to another Iron Dog member.
Contact an Iron Dog Board Member or the World Snowmobile Headquarters.
From President Bob King -
I hope everyone is doing well
and has had a fantastic snowmobile season.
It seems we Dogs have been very busy if we judge by the “Dog Sightings” posted on Facebook since our last meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We Dogs were kept busy taking tickets and participating in the many meetings that were being held. At that meeting we also inducted three new pups. In September Judy and I attended the ISC Planning meeting in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Am-way Grand Hotel is a beautiful facility and should serve us quite nicely.
The winter was one of anticipation waiting for snow, then we got snow, then rain, warm weather, then snow and more rain. Finally it decided to give us snow and let us keep it. The trails were fantastic all across the Snow Belt states and provinces with only a few exceptions.
This worked out well for the Iron Dog Midwest Ride, which took place February 24, 2019 to February 28, 2019 at the Spearfish Canyon Lodge, Spearfish Can-yon, SD. We had a good turnout of Dogs over the days we were there. Duane Sutton did a fantastic job of organizing the entire function, from guiding to the hospitality room to organizing the ban-quet.
Our infamous toilet seat award was pre-sented to Ron Potter this year. His wife Gwen had some problems with the deep snow and then bumped the back of an-other snowmobile.
We were fortunate to have Mike Grant from Snow Trails TV ride with us all three days. He has put together a 40 Min. video of our riding and banquet. He has also put together a shorter video that we hope to show at the Iron Dog Banquet.
I hope to see everyone at the Iron Dog meeting and banquet.
Our 2019 Iron Dog Brigade Distinguished Service Award (formerly the George Eisenhuth Award) was presented to Christine Jourdain (center) with Iron Dog President Bob King and Iron Dog Secretary Treasurer Judy King. — with Bob King, Christine Jourdain and Judy King.
Snowmobile Racer, Ambassador, Matriarch Audrey Decker Has Died
By John Prusak
June 11, 2019
Audrey Decker, the matriarch of one of snowmobiling’s most famous families and a three-time Hall Of Fame inductee in her own right, has died. Decker, 86, of Eagle River, Wisconsin, had been bravely battling Parkinson’s Disease.
2020 Iron Dog Ride
February 23rd thru February 26
Grand Rapids, Michigan
144 SE 17th Street
$119 per night
A block of rooms has been reserved for the Iron Dogs. Rooms are standard single king or two beds ( your choice -same price) with microwave, coffee, fridge.
We also have a separate party room reserved with kitchen and room to spread out and visit. The hotel has a full bar and restaurant.
The hotel has good access to snowmobile trails with plenty of truck/trailer parking.
Rides will include a sample of some of the best trails anywhere, taken care of by some of the greatest people I know.
Host: Les Ollila 218-360-1909
Audrey and Dick Decker, shot at the starting line of the 2015 Eagle River World Championship Snowmobile Derby
Many modern snowmobile racing fans and those in the touring community may have known Audrey and her husband, Richard “Dick” Decker, as the folks behind Decker Sno-Venture Tours, for their family’s long ownership of the Eagle River Derby Track from 1985 until 2018, and as the mother to famous racers/riders/snowmobile performance shop owners Steve, Allen, Mike and Chuck Decker, but her involvement in the snowmobile community stretches back much further.
In an interview earlier this year with Snow Goer, Dick Decker recounted how he purchased the family’s first snowmobile right before Christmas in 1964 when one of the sons spotted it outside a local hardware store for sale. Since then, the family’s life centered on snowmobiling.
It started with the boys racing but soon Dick and Audrey were also competing. “At that time when we were all racing back then, we were the biggest team on the circuit,” Dick Decker told us in January. “We had 15 sleds that we would race – we had one semi and we had to add a second one to it.”
Speaking specifically of Audrey’s racing chops, Dick Decker said, “There was Powder Puff racing back then, and then she got out of that and had to race against the men… She won a lot of races and was always very competitive. She’s got more history than all of the boys put together.”
Audrey Decker’s career spanned 13 years, and she was the first woman inducted into the Snowmobile Racing Hall Of Fame in 1989 at the age of 56. In 2001, she and Dick Decker were inducted in the other hall – the grassroots oriented International Snowmobile Hall Of Fame – in the “promoter” category for their efforts to expand snowmobiling to the masses with both the touring business and the Derby Track. And in 2018, she was inducted once more in the racing-oriented hall – now renamed simply Snowmobile Hall of Fame in St. Germain, Wisconsin – as a part of the Team Decker Racing induction that included the whole family. She’s also credited with being a Women On Snow ride co-founder.
Aside from the touring and racing businesses, she and Dick Decker owned a dealership in the powersports industry for 10 years. On the touring business, the duo and other family members led snowmobile excursions all over North America as well as to Iceland and Scandinavia. When Dick and Audrey would team up on a tour, Dick would often “guide” the group via snowmobile while Audrey drove the support vehicle, towing a huge trailer and getting to destinations before the riding group to make arrangements, often with her tiny little dog by her side or on her lap. And, once a person had been on one of the Decker Tours, they were treated like extended family by Dick and Audrey – invited to visit in the summer for a pontoon ride and general hospitality on the Eagle River chain of lakes.
Through it all, Dick and Audrey were pretty much inseparable. A few years back, Dick suffered through some health challenges and Audrey was always there to help him through it; in the last couple of years, Dick has taken on more the role of caregiver. They were married for 65 years.
“I put a little thing in the [local] newspaper saying it’s been a good 65 years and it’s been a hell of a ride,” Dick Decker joked in January. “I got a lot of comments on that and I tell people that that really wasn’t right, that 65 years. And they say, ‘Really, not that many?’ and I say, ‘No, it’s more like 165 years! And, if you ask Audrey she’ll tell you it’s 265 years!’”
52nd Annual International Snowmobile Congress
Hosted by :
Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association
Wednesday, June 10 to
Saturday, June 13, 2020
The DoubleTree by Hilton
1975 Broad St,
Regina, SK S4P 1Y2, Canada
Reservations Toll Free: 1-844-291-8933
Saskatchewan Snowmobile Association
P.O Box 533
221 Centre Street
Regina Beach SK S0G 4C0
1-800-499-SLED (7533) OR
A lot of people think those of us in the Iron Dog Brigade are too old to be significant to the sport of snowmobiling. That is certainly not true. Many of the Iron Dogs continue to share the story of the sport of snowmobiling and how important it is to all of us.
Attached are pictures of Tom Anderson and Dick Decker speaking at the Celebrate Wisconsin Snowmobiling event held at the Derby Track this past winter.
They are two significant reasons snowmobiling is what it is today.