November 1958, New York. Into the rarefied atmosphere of wealth and tradition at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden 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.
Reminiscent of the inspiring, against-the-odds success story that made Seabiscuit a best seller, The Eighty-Dollar Champion tells of 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.
©2011 Elizabeth Letts (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“This is a wonderful book—joyous, heartfelt, and an eloquent reminder that hope can be found in the unlikeliest of places.” (Gwen Cooper, New York Times best-selling author)
Wonderful story peppered with history and knowledge about the world of show jumping. Not just for the show jumping rider a beautiful story of triumph and life. Tremendous hidden talent almost destroyed but found are this story. Always look for the good and Never give up!
In the spirit of great historical stories like Boys in The Boat and Sea Biscuit, this book will captivate you and move you. A true feel good story. Inspirational.
Reader is perfect.
This is a great book with a great story. It will keep you captivated. As a horsewoman I immensely enjoyed all the detailed information about horses and those who work close with them.
Wonderful and inspiring story which is well narrated. A bit too many details at times for my taste, but a wonderful view into the time period, the horse, and the man.
I stumbled across this book and boy am I glad I did! What an absolutely fantastic story. My 16-year-old son, who was listening to it with me, said that it was better than a fairytale!
I'm just a book lover!
I love this kind of 'rags to riches' saga, especially with animals. Since this is an audio book and there are no pictures , as I am sure the book actually has some, I eventually got curious of the mentioned events and looked them up online. I was delighted to see that there is a documentary film coming out this month regarding Harry and Snowman. This was a great book, and an excellent performance by Bronson Pinchot, however I felt that at times, the author did more romancing of the events and was a bit wordy in parts. Overall, it was money well spent.
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