Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To download from the iTunes Store, get iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

The Eighty-Dollar Champion

Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

From Publishers Weekly

May 09, 2011 – 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.

Customer Reviews

Just a wonderful positive powerful story!!

I just loved this story. I read an article in USA Today about the book and loved the article. The book was entertaining and filled with knowledge about that period in time when things were simple and pure. I loved the detail of the horse lifestyle and the love of Harry for these beautiful and intelligent animals. I fell in love with Snowman and the love Harry and his family had for the horse.

A very good book!!

It's ok

A bit sentimental; a bit heavy-handed. But a lovely story, and worth the read.

The Eighty Dollar Champion

Loved this true story! Anyone who loves horses, sporting or otherwise, will be moved by this book. The communication between Harry and Snowman is what any true lover of the horse wants for their selves. Snowman was an amazing horse rescued from death by a man who intuitively knew, by looking at him, there was much more to him then met his eye. Man was he right! Well worth reading, tears, laughs and all.

The Eighty-Dollar Champion
View in iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Nature
  • Published: Aug 23, 2011
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

More by Elizabeth Letts