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Dean Lake Photography

Iyong Tapat Kaibigan FDC CAX20 FCAT DN owned and handled by Stephanie J. Markgraf of Liberty, North Carolina

Earned on February 24, 2023, Kai’s CAX20 was 10 years in the making: traveling almost 60,000 miles to compete in 14 states, running with 38 kennels clubs, earning 22 titles, with 500 qualifying runs. That’s a lot of ribbons!

“We were fortunate to have started CATs in the beginning of the sport. Our journey began January 2013 in Williamsburg, VA. From the very first ‘tally ho’ Kai wanted to ‘get that bunny!’ Stephanie said. “He was THAT dog- calm and obedient until he heard the lure machine or saw the bunnies. Then it was all barking, lunging, and dragging me to the start line.”

In the beginning, Kai used speed to follow and try to catch the lure. As he aged, he learned how to save energy by reading the tree lines, the fence lines, the coursing lines and where they intersected. Kai quickly became a fan favorite as he honed his coursing style. Sometimes he hunted the lure, stalking or ambushing it. I never knew what he was going to do after he dragged me to the start line. His fans would hoot, cheer, and laugh as he entertained us all!”


Dean Lake Photography

This milestone could have been reached sooner but Kai did not always qualify during his runs. When a dog competes long enough, at some time there will always be the dreaded pee or poop on the field. A few times he went off course to chase feral cats. On many occasions he went over time after discovering some poop on the field – goose, rabbit, or deer – and would stop to eat it, or roll around in it, or both! And of course, some judges were not quite so entertained by his hunting/running style.

“AKC’s coursing ability test was our gateway sport,” Stephanie said. Kai went on to earn national titles in dock diving, and state titles in weight pull. “It has been the greatest joy of my life to watch Kai learn, compete, excel, and have the greatest fun in performance dog sports. We met so many wonderful people and their dogs this past decade. We were proud to have participated and helped grow the sport. I even became a judge myself!”


Dean Lake Photography

“Kai achieved his CAX20 on Friday, February 24th. Three days later he went down outside in his kennel. I rushed him to the ER; he was stabilized and I brought him home that night. Further tests a week later resulted in a diagnosis of splenic hemangiosarcoma that had metastasized to his liver. Two tumors had ruptured… it was time to chase the bunnies over the rainbow bridge.”

Iyong Tapat Kaibigan FDC CAX20 FCAT DN
06/01/2010 – 03/07/2023