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)
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.
An amazing story of a young man and his bride who had seen the ravages of World War II and came to America to rebuild their lives. The ordinary plow horse saved from the kill wagon made a great match for the pair.
The story included perhaps too much background information about American horses and started slow. The book was probably half through before Snowman becomes a competitive jumper. Nevertheless, the story is inspiring and demonstrates the tone of America in the late 50s and 60s.
This would appeal to older listeners, ones who actually remember horses in wartime; the Cold War tensions and the days of many small family farms. My childhood was rural with horses, so I did enjoy the book.
Loved this book so much I listened to it twice! I am a horse person and was originally interested in the story of the horse. But I found it to be much more! It was history, and a story of a family and a horse and of the American Dream. Loved it!
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.
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