Rick Mackey began racing in junior sprint races at the age of 6. He and his wife Patti have been breeding sled dogs since 1970.
Mackey was a top 10 Iditarod competitor until retirement. He took 1st, 2nd, and third, in the Iditarod. He also captured 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race as well as two firsts in the most competitive mid-distance race in the world the Kuskokwim 300.