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

The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation Audiobook, by Elizabeth Letts Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Elizabeth Letts Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: Random House Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2020 ISBN: 9780593286449
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,626 ratings) (rate this audio book)
Regular Price: $22.50 Add to Cart
— or —
BEST PRICE!
FlexPass™ Price: $18.95$7.95$7.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Snowman doesn't seem like a very good name for a horse, even if that horse is pure white. It especially doesn't seem like a good name for a show jumping horse. Jumpers should have names that make you think of speed and grace, not a crudely shaped lump of frozen water. But then, even if Snowman had been given a different name, he still wouldn't have been anyone's pick to be a show horse.

When Harry de Leyer first saw the horse he would name Snowman, it was on the back of a truck headed for the slaughterhouse. Harry, a Dutchman who was new to America, thought he saw something special in the eyes of the broken down horse, and bought him from the truck driver for eighty dollars. Harry took Snowman home to his Long Island farm, where he set about turning his eighty-dollar rescue horse into The Eighty-Dollar Champion.

One show at a time, Harry and Snowman took over the show jumping world, and as they beat the odds, they stole the heart of a nation. Their story was a story of rising from nothing, of laughing in the face of the odds and the experts, and of triumphing when it was thought they could only fail. Harry and Snowman may be long gone, but their incredibly story guaranteed that their legend would live on forever.

Elizabeth Letts was born in 1961 in Houston, Texas. A competitive horsewoman in her youth. Letts went on to graduate from Yale with a degree in History, and to serve in the Peace Corps in Morocco. She has written four books including the Eighty-Dollar Champion, her first best-seller. The winner of several prestigious literary awards, including the Peace Corps Writers Award and a Junior Library Guild selection, Letts currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband and four children.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER November 1958: the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Into the rarefied atmosphere of wealth and tradition 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.   Here is 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.

Download and start listening now!

BK_BLAK_004502

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terri | 2/20/2014

    " A very well written biography about a horse and its rider that beat impossible odds. I will admit the ending made me cry. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynne | 2/17/2014

    " Very compelling read about one of the most interesting and successful open jumpers of all time. Letts provides a sense of being right in the story. The included photos also add plenty of visuals to the vivid descriptions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrol | 2/9/2014

    " I'm a sucker for a good horse story -- especially when it's true. Starts out with the horse on the way to the glue factory. Ends with him winning the national horse show open jumping championship in New York. Hurrah for Snowball. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janice | 2/7/2014

    " I loved this story. It might be too much horse history and horse show background for someone not interested in horses- but I am interested in horses and I wanted to keep on and on reading. I was sorry to hear how some things turned out- but the main story is so interesting! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sally | 1/30/2014

    " Great book, just needed about 75 pages cut out in the middle. Love Snowman! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 1/21/2014

    " I can't resist a horse biography...Seabiscuit, Man O' War, Ruffian. This one lacked some of the better writing that Seabiscuit and Ruffian had -- the author jumps around considerably and repeats information sometimes more than twice. In the end, I turned the last page and felt it had been worth the read. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves horses, especially if they are interested in show jumping. It is amazing to see how the sport of show jumping has changed during and since Snowman's reign as jumping king. This book is about a man and his horse, and like Seabiscuit, is a glimps into a time in history. Another of my favorite subjects. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dwight | 1/18/2014

    " If you enjoy horses, this is a great read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 1/18/2014

    " this was a new genre for me. I don't normally read animal stories. But I really liked how this book played off of what was happening in our nation at the same time as Snowman's rise to fame. I'm nothing if not a fan of the underdog and this book let me cheer for one of the biggest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shar | 12/23/2013

    " I've always LOVED books about horses....and this one is a true story! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen | 11/29/2013

    " I really wanted to like this more than I did, but for whatever reason, the book just didn't grab me. The story is truly heartwarming, and Snowman is easy to root for, but the book seemed to plod along. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Redrosevertigo0 | 11/14/2013

    " This was a great story about an amazing horse and rider. I could have used fewer chapters on the state of the world and more information about the De Leyers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vita | 11/7/2013

    " A book from the heart. Good read for folks who believe in the special qualitites animals bring to our lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 9/5/2013

    " Wow! What an inspiring read about an unlikely equestrian dynamic duo. Thrilling, indeed. A couple of unanswered questions remain when the book ends. The best books about four-legged friends are those that don't sentimentalize them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Natalie | 4/19/2013

    " Interesting story, I loved how it read more like a novel at times. At the same time, though, the bouncing back and fourth narrative structure annoyed me at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/14/2012

    " A good story for horse lovers. While the story about Snowman and his owner Harry de Leyer is impressive, the author included a lot of detail about horseback riding and show jumping that I ended up skimming over. Too much background, not enough story. Did not have the same impact as Seabiscuit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 8/21/2012

    " An amazing story about a special horse & rider. I liked it best when the author stuck to the facts. Sometimes she tried too hard to connect to greater world events. Snowman is outside of time making his own story. It was a treat to see this pictures and feel like I was there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 C. | 7/18/2012

    " A good book. A sad beginning but an uplifting ending. I enjoyed being back in the 1950's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 7/10/2012

    " Wonderful, inspirational true story about a lovable old plow horse! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 6/14/2012

    " Some of the details are a bit boring but this was a great story! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rene' | 11/3/2011

    " Loved this story from begining to end! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samuel | 10/30/2011

    " Wonderful, heart warming story of a classic horseman and his love and respect for his horse. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 10/26/2011

    " The story itself is very good. The writing is mediocre at best. The lack of capitalization of "Thoroughbred" drove me nuts.

    I would recommend the book to anyone who knows about Snowman, but don't expect a literary masterpiece by any means. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 10/25/2011

    " Being a horse lover, I really enjoyed this true story "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Pat | 10/15/2011

    " Disappointed. I could not get into this at all. Still waiting for a story/characters to develop. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb | 10/3/2011

    " A rags to riches story of a horse headed for the dog food factory. His new owner trained him to be a championship jumper. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joshlyn | 10/3/2011

    " Great story, very inspiring. Reads a little "textbookish." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mdraeger | 9/29/2011

    " As an avid reader of horse books as a kid, it was fun to revisit that world. The story is amazing, the structure of the book could be better as it sort of bounces around the narrative and meanders a bit at times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angela | 9/28/2011

    " Loved this book ! A must for any horse lover. The true inspirational story of an 80$ rescue horse who became the Champion of Madison Square Garden. The number one jumper in the UNited States! After all the gloom and doom I've been reading this was a refreshing change. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bridget | 6/5/2011

    " This story about Snowman was entertaining, informative, and inspiring. The horse's and his rider's determination is incredible as is his story. I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. "

About the Author

Elizabeth Letts is the author of several acclaimed books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller The Eighty-Dollar Champion.

About the Narrator

Arthur Morey has won three AudioFile Magazine “Best Of” Awards, and his work has garnered numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and placed him as a finalist for two Audie Awards. He has acted in a number of productions, both off Broadway in New York and off Loop in Chicago. He graduated from Harvard and did graduate work at the University of Chicago. He has won awards for his fiction and drama, worked as an editor with several book publishers, and taught literature and writing at Northwestern University. His plays and songs have been produced in New York, Chicago, and Milan, where he has also performed.