Asha Brogan'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
Nov 13, 2011

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Read from November 13, 2011 to December 20, 2012

So far this book is pretty good. I am about 1/4 of the way through. So far this man, Harry, who is a Dutch immigrant bought a horse (Snowman) off of a truck bound for slaughter. He was looking for a good lesson horse for the all girls school he teaches at, and by chance ended up feeling sorry for the abused white horse covered in mud and blood and bought him for eighty dollars. The horse is quiet, calm and great with his kids. He uses it throughout the year at the school and the horse is great with beginners. During the summer though he is not able to keep all of the horses and ends up selling the school horses, despite the horses' great personality the only horse Harry can afford to keep for his own is a horse he can use in the world of competitive jumping so he sells the horse to a man in his area who has a son and wants an easy horse.
Overall I think this is a pretty good book. I love horses so I am enjoying that part, and the fact that the main human character is a dutch immigrant gives it a bit of extra flavor. The downside of it though, is that the author (the book is a biography, not a memoir) spends pages and pages, and even some chapters going into long descriptions of things such as the history of sport of show jumping [horses]. Long speculations of Snowman's history, and the "art" of buying horses. These segments are spaced throughout the actual story at hand and get rather dull. So far a pretty slow read, but if you get through the boring parts there is something interesting waiting for you at the other end.

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Reading Progress

12/11/2011 page 104
36.0% "This book is starting to get a lot better. Harry has found out that Snowman is not just a nice horse, but is an amazing jumper, which is just what he needs. He find this out after he sells Snowman, but the horse comes back to him, jumping all the fences between the buyer's stable and Harry's. Although it is still irritating how the author keeps going back to random parts of history, the story is starting to get good."
01/13/2012 page 199
69.0% "Harry has now started taking Snowman to shows and the horse is amazing he places in every single show and has a whole collection of ribbons. Harry's only worry is how he can keep up the intesive show world with Snowman once the school year starts again. Once it does Snowman goes back to being a gentle school pony for the beginners, but now also helps the advanced students."

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