Day At The Track

On The Rail with Sydney Weaver

06:06 AM 06 May 2014 NZST
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Sydney Weaver, harness racing Harness racing Harness racing
Sydney Weaver opens her Chrismas gift package and got the horse of her dreams
Photo by Lisa Weaver
Sydney Weaver and Sydney "Pinky" Seelster with Cesar Kowalski
Photo by Lisa Weaver
The special plaque that Cesar Kowalski gave to Sydney Weaver
Photo by Lisa Weaver


For all of you who don’t believe in Santa Claus I have a story for you. A story of the best Christmas gift I ever got! 

Christmas 2012 I wrote to Santa asking for a horse- a harness racing horse! When I told my mom this, she said “Santa only brings gifts that you can afford to keep after he brings them.” Sadly we could not.

But I kept dreaming, and never giving up hope, I counted down the days to Christmas Day! I held firm in my belief and I wasn’t giving up! After all I did have the magic of Christmas on my side. That year Christmas could not come fast enough.

On Christmas morning our phone rang and it was our family friend Cesar Kowalski. We exchanged Merry Christmas’s and he told me he had some books to help me study for my trainer’s test and he wanted me to have them over my Christmas break. He was heading out of town and asked if there was a spot half way for both of us to meet.

I hollered to my mom and said “Is there a horse in the living room?” Sadly, “no” was the answer.

I told Cesar that yes we could meet, because what I wanted most for on Christmas didn’t come. So opening my other presents could wait. He and my dad worked out a spot half way for both of us.

My mom, my dad and I start getting ready. I didn’t have a clue as to what was going on. I didn’t understand why these books were so important and why I needed them on Christmas morning.

We pull into the parking lot at a barn, of all places to meet. My dad goes in to see if there is a restaurant where he could get some coffee. Cesar hands me the big bag of books he promised, which will help me with my trainer’s test. And one other wrapped gift. I was about to open it, when he said “before you open that, why don’t we go into the barn and find your dad.”

So my mom wheels me into the barn to look for my dad. The stalls look like ordinary stalls except one. This stall had wrapping paper on the front of it. The horse in this stall seems calm so I stroke its forehead.

Cesar then turns to me and says; “Sydney, now you can open your gift”. Inside was a framed plaque and at the top it said “SYDNEY’S FIRST HORSE”, Sydney Seelster, and provided all her registered information.

I was over the moon; I was crying tears of joy and there was not a dry eye in the barn. I could not believe what was happening. I actually was a co-owner of a race horse! I was in shock, my dream had come true.

In front of her stall there were also other gifts like wraps and brushes.  And they were all marked ‘To: Sydney, Love from Santa’. I still couldn’t believe it. I felt as if I was in a dream.

 I watched my dad give her a bath. And we soon learned that having two Sydney’s in the barn would be very confusing. So my dad said I had to pick out a barn name. I sat in front of the wash stall, trying to come up with a suitable barn name.

 Some ideas I thought of were; Holly, Chrissy (short for Christmas) and Noel.  But none of them I found suiting. Then I turned to my mom and said “I wonder who’s going to be the brains of the operation? You know mom, like that [T.V] show Pinky and the Brain?” And as soon as I said Pinky the horse started to nod.

So her barn name from there on was Pinky. And because her [barn] name was Pinky, that’s where the tradition started of everyone who went to the races with Pinky wore pink.  And because of that tradition Pinky and all her connections were dubbed ‘Team Pink’.

Then generous people started giving us pink accessories. All which are treasured and mean so much to me.   

After a morning filled with excitement and memories that will last a lifetime, we finally returned home.  I opened my gifts that Santa had left under my [Christmas] tree.

After I had finished going through my stocking I moved on to my other presents. My dad passed me a gift; it was an original copy of one of my favourite books- Born to Trot, by Marguerite Henry.

It was all starting to make sense.  My Christmas was literally horse themed! 

That night sleeping was a difficult task, my mind was racing with so many questions like when would her first start be with her racing in my name? Who would drive? Where would she race?  There were so many questions!

I was also replaying the day’s events in my head, a lot had happened, lots of very special memories had been created! I went to sleep thinking what grand adventures waited ahead for Pinky and me! Not realizing I had just been given my best friend!

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