Adapted from the #1 New York Times bestselling adult novel, this inspiring true story of a man and horse duo who rose to the top of the competitive equestrian world is one of unstoppable hope, inconceivable dreams, and the chance to have it all, perfect for animal lovers and history buffs alike.
On a bleak winter afternoon, Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman between the slats of a rickety truck bound for the slaughterhouse. Noting a spark in the horse's eye, the Dutch immigrant bought the beaten-up animal for only eighty dollars and took him to the family's modest farm on Long Island.
Though Snowman thrived in his new home, Harry needed money. Reluctantly, he sold Snowman to another farm a few miles down the road. But the shaggy horse had other ideas.
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. Snowman then began his extraordinary path to stardom as Harry trained him to show jump, taking Snowman all the way to the very top of the sport.
This dramatic and inspiring rise to stardom of an unlikely duo is based on the insight and recollections of the Flying Dutchman himself. Snowman and Harry's 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.
Praise for the Adult Edition of The Eighty-Dollar Champion
"A classic American dream story, with a down-on-its-luck horse galloping in for good measure."-USA Today
"If you loved the story of Seabiscuit, the surprise champion racehorse, make a date to check out the true story of Snowman."-San Jose Mercury News
“This is a wonderful book—joyous, heartfelt, and an eloquent reminder that hope can be found in the unlikeliest of places. Most of all, it’s a moving testament to the incredible things that can grow from the bond between animals and humans. If you love a great animal tale, you’ll love this book!”—Gwen Cooper, author of Homer’s Odyssey
Letts (Quality of Care) raises expectations in her newest book by claiming national inspiration in the subtitle. Snowman was a plow horse bought off the slaughter truck for $80 by Danish immigrant Harry de Leyer. Snowman's appearance masked superior jumping talents, and de Leyer took him to the top of the "expensive.... equestrian world was one of the last bastions of the upper-class elite." The events occurred in the late 1950s and early 1960s; however, Letts doesn't quite establish the context, and it's not clear how a horse provided inspiration for workers "starved for dreams" amid "terrifying fears of nuclear age tensions." Diversions such as the decline of the American horse population offer little insight, and nonequestrians will occasionally be puzzled by the lingo, particularly with respect to equine anatomy. Still, Letts is a solid prose stylist; her vivid descriptions of staid Long Island with its "gentle meadows ringed by dogwood trees" provide virtual tours, but it is de Leyer's realization of the American dream that is the real story. Photos.