The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation
November 1958: the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Into the rarefied atmosphere of wealth and tradition comes the most unlikely of horses—a drab white former plow horse named Snowman—and his rider, Harry de Leyer. They were the longest of all longshots—and their win... show more
November 1958: the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Into the rarefied atmosphere of wealth and tradition comes the most unlikely of horses—a drab white former plow horse named Snowman—and his rider, Harry de Leyer. They were the longest of all longshots—and their win was the stuff of legend. Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman on a bleak winter afternoon between the slats of a rickety truck bound for the slaughterhouse. He recognized the spark in the eye of the beaten-up horse and bought him for eighty dollars. On Harry’s modest farm on Long Island, the horse thrived. But the recent Dutch immigrant and his growing family needed money, and Harry was always on the lookout for the perfect thoroughbred to train for the show-jumping circuit—so he reluctantly sold Snowman to a farm a few miles down the road. But Snowman had other ideas about what Harry needed. When he turned up back at Harry’s barn, dragging an old tire and a broken fence board, Harry knew that he had misjudged the horse. And so he set about teaching this shaggy, easygoing horse how to fly. One show at a time, against extraordinary odds and some of the most expensive thoroughbreds alive, the pair climbed to the very top of the sport of show jumping. Here is the dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo, based on the insight and recollections of “the Flying Dutchman” himself. Their story captured the heart of Cold War–era America—a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all. Elizabeth Letts’s message is simple: Never give up, even when the obstacles seem sky-high. There is something extraordinary in all of us.
Publish date: August 23rd 2011
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages no: 329
Edition language: English
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The story was cute but was basically about one very lucky man with very little talent (he never did repeat his success with any other horse as far as I know) and a strong desire to show off. Hated the writing. The author explained the "horsey" parts of the book to the readers like they were 5 years ...
What a great story. A Dutch emigrant, trying to make a life for his family, impulsively pulls one particular sorry horse off a trailer bound for the glue factory, rescuing what was to become the most celebrated jumping horse of his era. Only, at first the horse can't even walk over poles on the gr...
Excellent feel good story involving a horse and a man. I listened to the audio version, and the narrator did an excellent job as well. I highly recommend. I wouldn't listen to the last hour while driving however, the tears filling your eyes will make it very hard to navigate the road. It's a rea...
A great story to work with here. Sometimes we all need to read something that just feels a little good. In all honesty, you could just look at the cover on this--The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation--and have a good gist of what is in store for you. However, I enj...
I'm only allowed to give this book the maximum of 5 stars, but it deserves so many more. An incredible horse and an honest, hard-working, good man. Champions, indeed.