Book Review of
The Eighty Dollar Champion- Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation
Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman on a truck bound for the slaughterhouse. The recent Dutch immigrant recognized the spark in the eye of the beaten-up nag and bought him for eighty dollars. On Harry’s modest farm on Long Island, he ultimately taught Snowman how to fly. Here is the dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo. 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. Their story captured the heart of Cold War–era America—a story of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all. They were the longest of all longshots—and their win was the stuff of legend.
Snowman’s story allows a reader to understand more about show jumping in the 50s and 60s. I love this tale in particular because it is about a poorer immigrant who was able to purchase a cheap horse that eventually became a champion jumper. This story not only encourages people to strive for more, but it also shows how this horse changed horse jumping. I did find that this book was a little slow at parts, yet other parts were quite fascinating.