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The Eighty-Dollar Champion Audiobook

The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation

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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (939 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Vienna Merritt 09-14-15 Member Since 2014
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    6
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    Story
    "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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Risa 07-08-15
    Risa 07-08-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book and reader"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Bagley St. Anthony, ID USA 07-06-15
    M. Bagley St. Anthony, ID USA 07-06-15 Member Since 2014

    marvelled

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    6
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    "Love"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy McCain Tucson, AZ USA 07-04-15
    Kathy McCain Tucson, AZ USA 07-04-15 Member Since 2013
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    42
    3
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    Story
    "Worth the read, particularly for horse lovers"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Roe VA 06-25-15
    L. Roe VA 06-25-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Brilliant!"

    One of the best True stories to care about and read to perfection by Bronson Pinchot! Thank you!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    april schexnayder 05-27-15
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    "best inspiring horse story"

    this was a phenomenal book! Truly an inspiration for all . An incredible true life story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-23-15 Member Since 2016
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    "AWESOME"

    Love, love, love!! Anyone who loves horses will love this book! Great story about the underdog.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Arrowood Indiana, USA 04-16-15
    Aaron Arrowood Indiana, USA 04-16-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Nonfiction like a fairytale!"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LillyO Idaho Falls, ID USA 04-07-15
    LillyO Idaho Falls, ID USA 04-07-15

    LillyO

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    "Excellent!"

    Had me from start to finish! Highly recommend it. A story of true triumph. Never underestimate us throwaways.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly 04-03-15
    Kimberly 04-03-15 Member Since 2015

    I'm just a book lover!

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    "Wonderful story, inspiring read"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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