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

The Eighty-Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts
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's review
Aug 13, 2011

Read in June, 2011

"The Eighty-Dollar Champion" is the story of the American Dream as lived by a Dutch immigrant and his slaughterhouse-bound horse. When Harry de Leyer first met Snowman on a truck destined for the slaughterhouse, he knew there was something special about the horse. Snowman knew there was something special about Harry and refused to be sold, jumping paddock fences to return to Harry's barn. Together the pair would go on to win ribbons in a rainbow of colors, beating some of the top horses in the world.

Besides interviews with Harry de Leyer and his family, Letts did research into the times, places, and people mentioned in the book. This background info, while tedious to some, brings to life the surroundings of Harry and Snowman. The competitions mean more to the reader because they know exactly what is at stake for the underdog pair.

Overall the book was an engaging read. More than just horse lovers will be turning pages to the learn the outcome of the competitions. It is a heart-warming story of the American Spirit: of picking yourself up by your bootstraps and working hard to achieve your dreams. With Letts' help, Harry and Snowman can inspire generations to come.

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