By Ira Kantor

Defying the neigh-sayers, a formerly abused gelding found himself hot to trot despite the wintry conditions yesterday while on display at the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s “Giving Tree” open house.

Battling the odds and the frigid chill, Sammy, 16, was on hand – or rather hoof – with Santa Claus himself to help other animals in need find loving homes.

“He was kind of a special treat to bring,” said Alyssa Kane, spokeswoman for the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Dedham branch where Sammy was taken in in 2004. “Compared to what he came in with, he looks wonderful.”

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