Debbie Maskus's Reviews > The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation

The Eighty-Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts
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Jun 15, 2011

really liked it
Read in June, 2011

This is an inspiring book about a horse on his way to the slaughterhouse, only to be chosen as a school horse for a private girl's school. This nonfiction rendering is set in the 1950's, but the author, Elizabeth Letts, incorporates other years to relate the story. I enjoyed the determination and luck of the story. Snowman, a flea-bitten horse headed for death, becomes a steeplechase grand champion. His owner, Harry de Leyer, radiates the pages with his perseverance and kindness. The story wanders off the path many times to explain various practices and historic information. I learned so much with this book: the disappearance of horses after WWII due to the use of more machinery, the rigors of steeple chase riding, the decrease of need for veterinarians after WWII, and the bleak retirement for the majority of horses. The story balanced bleak reality with sheer wonderment at good fortune.
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