Favourite Christmas Gift Winners


"My favourite Christmas gift arrived 16 years ago on December 25, 1999. It was my son, Ryder Matthews-Rennison."

"The best Christmas gift I ever received came in 2012, her name is Sydney Seelster. She was a present that would change my life as I knew it."

It was difficult to determine a winner of the Fan Club’s Favourite Christmas Gift contest, and in the end the fan club decided to call it a dead-heat between two outstanding submissions.

Congratulations to Andrea Rennison of Truro, Nova Scotia, who wrote about her son being the best gift, and to Sydney Weaver, of Acton, Ontario, who wrote about the horse she received for Christmas, Sydney Seelster.

Here is an excerpt from Andrea’s submission:

My favourite Christmas gift arrived 16 years ago December 25 1999. It was my son, Ryder Matthews-Rennison. Through the years he has grown into a caring thoughtful young man. Ryder has been working hand in hand with my husband jogging, providing daily care, polticing, rubbing, walking, etc. and enjoying many trips to the winner’s circle as a result. For his 16th birthday we have ordered him his first helmet and hope to see him participate in the amateur races this year. We have asked for a message to be painted to remind him to race with heart, courage and family. I hope that this gift is one he will always remember.

On Christmas Day 2012, longtime harness horse owner Cesar Kowalski, a friend of the Weaver family, made Sydney’s wish come true by giving her part ownership in his horse, Sydney Seelster, who he had just claimed on December 23.

Here is Sydney Weaver’s story:

The best Christmas gift I ever received came in 2012, her name is Sydney Seelster. She was a present that would change my life as I knew it. She did not fit in my stocking or under my tree, but she fit in my heart perfectly. I love her so much. She is my inspiration and my best friend. She is very good with me because she is so easy-going. She has never spooked at my wheelchair. I was able to jog her with help from friends and my dad. I am able to brush her, too. We have snuggles and she shares her hay with me. She looks after me just like I look after her. She stands guard over me when I am near.

‘Pinky’ won 13 races for me, (before we decided to breed her) and we created so many wonderful memories together. That Christmas I did not just get a horse, I got my best friend, and the gift of love. She may have been my Christmas gift but the gift of her love is not seasonal, she shows it all year around. She was a Christmas present that changed my life as a whole. Pinky makes me smile. She makes my bad days good and my good days great. Pinky makes my soul feel happy. I could not imagine my life today if I did not have my best friend by my side.

Both Andrea and Sydney have won a Fan Club swag package valued at $50 and a $50 donation in their name to their favourite charity. Andrea is donating her $50 to Barona Lilac’s Cheering For Charity December partner and Sydney’s donation will go to the President’s Choice Children’s Charity.

Thanks to all who entered!