I had never heard of Snowman and found the story well told. I am a horse owner so maybe it struck home with me more than it might to someone that does not have horses.
the first chapters were the most memorable for me, I don't want to spoil the story by letting details out
Mr Pinchot did a terrific job, I will be looking for more of his readings.
my vision blurred several times during the story and there were times that I almost cheered out loud.
Say something about yourself!
This horse story started just a bit slow, but by the second hour I was enthralled. I listened to the book in one marathon listen! This true story seems a metaphor for the American 'family and community spirit' rebuilding following the first World War. I thought the pacing was excellent. I was impressed with the work ethic of the Flying Dutchman and his jumper. I thought the ending was perfect. The reader was excellent, he never hit a sour note irritating me out of the story. The rich man, poor man thread was handled with dignity. Societal and Political details were sprinkled in without bias and bring a sense of credibility to an otherwise amazing story. Overall, I think this book about a horse is destined to become a classic.
The Eighty-Dollar Champion is a book for anyone who loves horses or enjoys a true story of improbable success in the face of tremendous odds. I spent my summers as a child on my grandparents’ pony farm and was simply wild about horses so I expected to enjoy this book. I wasn’t prepared to love it so much and recommend it to nearly everyone! (Except perhaps people who REALLY hate animals.) After completing the book I doubted its veracity and assumed that the author had selectively chosen and embellished her facts for effect. However, when I checked, I found that indeed most, if not all, of it actually happened as related. If this were a fiction book, it would be considered something of a fairy tale or fantasy, but as nonfiction, it appears to hold up.
Harry do Leyer, who immigrated from Holland after World War II with is wife and a single suitcase of belongings, purchased a broken-down gray horse from a truck headed for the slaughter house. His children named the gelding Snowman and Harry cleaned him up, fed him well, and began using him to teach girls in a local private school to ride. Through a fluke observation, Harry discovered that Snowman could jump, and jump very well. He and the horse trained rigorously, and with the support of his family, they eventually achieved the highest honors of the Show Jumping World in 1958 and beyond.
But that is not what makes this story such a memorable one. The greatness of Harry and Snowball is the unique bond that formed between this man and this horse: the nearly silent communication, complete trust, and intense loyalty that existed between them. In addition, I learned a great deal about horses, the sport of jumping, and the culture of the 1950s and ‘60s when this all happened. I was compelled to listen, even knowing the final outcome. I can only credit Elizabeth Letts and her excellent craftsmanship with bringing this story back to life in 2011. I’d give it 10 stars if I could. I understand that a documentary movie will be coming out in 2014. I can hardly wait!
One of the best
Harry, a true optimist
Painted the picture perfectly.
Wonderful would listen to it again.
Snowman is the unlikeliest of winning show jumpers and his story will make you cheer. From the truck headed to the slaughter house, to lesson horse for a girls' school, to a beloved family member carrying children bareback swimming....to a champion show jumper competing with the elite of the elite... The Eighty-Dollar Champion will not disappoint. I love that this is a true story and the reader is left with the knowledge that we all have that spark to be more than we seem to be.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The writing could have used some editing but the story more than made up for that. It's still hard to believe that this was a true story. Very much enjoyed the reading by Bronson Pinchot. Considering, however, that this is a book about the horse show world it is inexcusable that no one could help Mr. Pinchot correctly pronounce the names of Adolph Mogavero and Frank Chapot, two icons of the horse show world. That having been said this is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.
Haven't yet read the book, but the audio edition was fantastic.
It is the same feel-good type of story as Marley & Me, only with a wonderful horse. I love horses, have ridden for years and the story line, the explanations of the training, showing and horse behaviors are spot on. I learned to ride on an old, ugly (but beautiful to me) old mare -- this story really brought back memories. The author did a wonderful job of bringing Snowman and his family to life.
This reader was perfect for the story. Snowman was hands down my favorite character. As for people, after listening to this story, I would have loved to have met Harry in real life. He was the type of teacher anyone could have learned from.
Most of the show jumping scenes, I felt like I was right there with them.
Highly recommended book. I don't usually listen to the same book twice, but I certain will listen to this one again.
I'm a horse-person, so give me a story about a good horse and a human's devotion to him, and I'm going to love it. This book went one step further, however, by taking a horse sale reject recognized by a savy horseman who nurtured him into the champion he was in his heart. Not a new story, I know, but all the better because it is true and so well told.
Another great feature of the book is the narration by Bronson Pinchot. I am a fan of his, but I kept hearing the voice and trying to place it. I was shocked to discover I had listened to the entire book before I knew who narrated! My point is that, while Mr. Pinchot's voice is very pleasing to listen to, he never puts himself in the way of the story. Well done!
Buy it, listen to it, and I hope you'll find it as uplifiting as I do.
Thanks for taking the time to read my review.
I loved the Eighty-Dollar Champion, in spite of the writing! It truly is a fantastic tale with remarkable characters who embody persaverence-man and horse.As soon as I finished the book, I looked up photos and videos of this real life duo, bringing even more life to Lett's interpretation of their history. I found myself rooting for both Harry and his horse, Snowman, even though I knew their trials would end predictably well. The relationship between Harry and Snowman is unique and Letts allows their special bond to glow. The historical background takes up space in an informative and really interesting way also. My issue was with her writing, which is repetitive. Once she makes a statement, she finds the need to repeat it over 4 or 5 times-where was her editor? The story sailed stronger than her writing, however, and I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good nonfiction narrative and yes, an inspiring story set in a historical perspective.
I loved this book on so many levels... The fact that it is a true story and tells about the main characters plight in coming to America and what he thought about the country and himself is something that everyone should read. This is more than just an average horse story.
I loved how the people never gave up and didn't let their circumstances stop them.
I have not heard Bronson Pinchot before but thought he was wonderful.
I have no idea.
I think this book would be good for kids, teenagers as well as adults