Stolen Dogs Rack Up Prizes At Eukanuba Show In Long Beach

Owner and trainer Kristina Rickard shares a moment with Didi, an Akita who won First Place in her class after an emotional week at the AKC/Eukanuba Dog Show in Long Beach.

Kristina Rickard has had quite a week.

The dog trainer came to Long Beach with high hopes for her two entries, Akita dogs named Trace and Didi who had an excellent shot at winning some hardware at the annual AKC/Eukanuba National Dog Show at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Rickard's world came crumbling down, however, when both canines - worth an estimated $350,000, some outlets even say $500,000 - were stolen from a van parked outside their Bellflower hotel earlier this week. Thankfully, the dogs were located in Compton shortly thereafter and returned in time to participate in the competition. Two others were found in Victorville and returned.

And it was a good thing, too. After that emotional rollercoaster, Rickard basked in glory at the show as Didi took First Place in her class and also won Best Puppy, while Trace won select doing points that count toward his effort to win the Grand Championship.

Trace and her competitors will vie for the Grand Prize during the Eukanuba World Challenge this Saturday and Sunday. The AKC/Eukanuba National Dog Show is the second largest of its kind in the country.

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