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)
This is a great story about a wonderful and inspiring horse. I now know this animal the way I understand people I've read biographys of. My only criticism is that the author is not a great storyteller. A skilled editor would have cut pages and pages and a natural raconteur would have handled the plot in a more pleasing way. The story itself, however, is so compelling it overcomes all of that.
If you're a horse person, you will feel the character of this noble beast.
If you are a horse lover and have ever been around horses you will appreciate how will this book is written. This man who saved this horse was a true horse whisper. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It tells a part of history that is left out of the history books.
I can't believe I somehow missed Snowmans story while I was growing up, as it was my goal from around 4 yrs of age to have my own horse.. But it was was probably bcuz i was busy saving babysitting money to make my dream a reality.. Long story short, at 11 yrs old,from ca. I sent my dairy farming uncle in minn., 100 $ & made my dream come true.. Bought her as a 2yr old & had to put her down when she was 32.. She was truly my sister friend as Snowy was Harry's brother brother friend... Love is the BEST thing we have here on this planet, of that I'm sure. It was AWESOME, to share in their well done story...
As a horse lover and lived on Long Island when this book takes places it was very heart warming and shows the dedication of a man who saw something great in his eighty dollar
Lover of books, animals, the sun on my face, and the wind at my back! #Clemson
Bronson Pinchot makes this story come to life... it's as if you're sitting by the fire, listening to Harry de Leyer himself, talk about his past and his horse.
The triumphant way that the story is told... after the chapter about Snowman coming off the slaughter truck, there really isn't much else about his past (probably because it would have only been speculative), but it's nice to focus on the present as Snowman's personality reveals itself and his relationship with Harry grows into one of great admiration.
All of the scenes from the competitions; they're all told so vividly, it's as if you are there, in the arena, watching for yourself!
BOTH! Any book about a horse is going to have a wide range of emotional reactions, this one is no exception.
If you've ever had a horse, or you've always wanted a horse, but don't have one yet, or you're a fan of the classic "under-dog" story, this book is for you! The story is written and read beautifully, and by the end, you feel that Snowman could have just as well been your horse!
This was my era, but I don't recall hearing about Snowman. I loved the story and want my grand kids to read it😀. It's so refreshing to read stories where people love each other and are honorable.
Loved this story. A good balance of history is woven into the main story about Snowman. I pictured the horses expression so easily, and enjoyed his antics. The narrators voice is soothing and a pleasure to listen to.
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