Tri-State Alaskan Malamute Club-badge

Tri-State Alaskan Malamute Club

General Info about TSAMC
By Lori A. Brinkley

TSAMC is the Tri-State Alaskan Malamute Club. Although there are members through-out the US, most of TSAMC's events are held in and around Wisconsin. TSAMC was originally called "Wisconsin Freighters" and *was* a freight racing club.

"After the 1st Eagle River freight race (organized by Bill Nelli), the Wisconsin Freighters Club was born at the Nelli home. Besides the Nelli's and us, there was Fred Baird (dogless at the time), Howard Thompson, and Bill Meurett (Connie's older son). The second race was organized by Jim Meurett at the Owl's Nest Resort near Mauston. The following year, the Wisconsin Freighters sort of dissolved, but became known officially as the Tri-State Alaskan Malamute Club, AFTER it's first weight pull, held at Westby, WI. Connie became the first Secretary/Treasurer." (Helen Schultz; TSAMC Tribute to Connie Meurett, Oct. 1997)

The best estimations put the start of TSAMC in 1980.

The first few years, TSAMC hosted some of the biggest freight races in the nation, including ISDRA's National Championship, at Christmas Mountain Village, near Wisconsin Dells, WI. Mother Nature changed all that, though, when lack of snow caused the cancellation of race after race after race.

Gradually, the emphasis changed from a freight racing club with a couple weights pulls to more of a weight pulling club. TSAMC then met its members' needs for sledding with excursions and Sourdough Sally races. The decision was made in 1991 to discontinue sanctioning through ISDRA and to write our own weight pull rules. As a club, we have found that being a separate entity from other organizations has allowed us to tailor our rules to our specific needs, while still running a safe and efficient event. TSAMC now averages 80 dogs and 40 handlers competing at each event.

The growth of the club in the area of weight pulling has really come about in the past five years. In 1993-94, TSAMC hosted four weight pulls: The one and only BRAVE the CAVE weight pull in Eagle Cave, October of 1993, the Second Annual Nature's Mercy Weight pull in Richland Center, in December of 1993, the National Championship in Wisconsin Dells, WI, and the Northwoods Championship, in Eagle River, both of which were in February.

In 1998-99, TSAMC hosted eight weight pulls: The 6th Annual Kick-off, in Warrens, in October, the 7th Annual Nature's Mercy Weight Pull in Richland Center, in December, The 6th Annual Sarge's Tug, in Spring Green, The 2nd Annual Hobbit Haul in Fitchburg, both in January; The National Championship in Wisconsin Dells, the Northwoods Championship, and First EVER TSAMC Invitational in Eagle River, were all three in February; and the 5th Annual Iaroratuk Fun Finale, in Mishicot, was in March.

As the weight pulling aspect of TSAMC began to grow, so, too, did the reputation for putting on fun, exciting, and often highly competitive weight pulls. People began to come from farther distances to compete OR just to watch TSAMC weight pulls.

Noticing the crowd of enthusiastic spectators at one weight pull, I thought to myself that it would be really great if TSAMC had a way to honor its best weight pull dogs. A way to recognize those who competed well, consistently. Our event sponsors had, for the most part, come up with ways to award dogs for individual wins, through trophies and prize money, but there did not exist a way, at that time, to award dogs who pulled well all season long.

I thought about this for the remainder of that season, and came up with a points race idea. I pitched that idea to the members present at the April, 1995, meeting at Pedros Restaurant, in Wisconsin Dells, WI. The idea was tabled at that meeting and in June, after a fairly lengthy discussion, the TSAMC members, along with its Board of Directors, voted to TRY the points
race for ONE season (1995-96), to see how it went. In April of 1996, the members of TSAMC voted to continue having the Overall Season Points Championship Award on an annual basis.

The club, today, still promotes the Alaskan Malamute, especially as a working dog. Weight pulling, racing, showing in AKC sponsored dog shows, backpacking, and camping are some of the events our members enjoy with their versatile dogs. Also, the kinds of dogs that are owned by club members has grown to include many other breeds and mixed breeds along with the Alaskan Malamute.

As a club, we promote the working dog and hold several events each year. Our events are held all over the state of Wisconsin. Places include: Richland County, Spring Green, Wisconsin Dells, Eagle River, Mishicot, Fitchburg, and Warrens. Our winter events season usually runs from October through March. The remainder of the year, we hold club meetings to handle the business and set up events.