The Eighty-dollar Champion

The Eighty-dollar Champion

Audiobook CD - 2011
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The Eighty-Dollar Champion tells the dramatic odyssey of a horse called Snowman, saved from the slaughterhouse by a young Dutch farmer named Harry. Together, Harry and Snowman went on to become America's show-jumping champions, winning first prize in Madison Square Garden. Set in the mid to late 1950s, this book captures the can-do spirit of a Cold War immigrant who believed--and triumphed.
Publisher: Ashland, OR : Blackstone Audio, Inc., ©℗2011.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9781441786463
Branch Call Number: 798.25079 LET
Characteristics: 9 sound discs (approximately 10 hr., 30 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Additional Contributors: Pinchot, Bronson
Blackstone Audio, Inc

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Librarian_Deb Aug 28, 2017

I had a delightful time listening to this inspiring tale about how a horse saved from the kill wagon became a champion jumper at the National Horse show. At the center of the story are two characters: Snowman the plain looking horse and Harry De Leyer the immigrant horse trainer. When Harrry first encountered Snowman at the end of an horse auction, where he was about to be carted away on the kill wagon, he was able to look past Snowman's looks and see something more in his eyes--the heart that would lead to him becoming a champion. At first the story trickles along as we learn more about De Leyer and his family, how he came to be working at the Knox Academy for girls as an equestrian instructor, and the history of buying, selling and breeding horses in America. But then De Leyer decided to sell Snowman to a neighbor. It was a sound business decision, but a hard one since he and his family had grown to love the horse. And apparently Snowman felt the same way, because he showed up at De Leyer's barn a few days later, having jumped several fences to return. De Leyer is forced to take the horse back--but he realized the horse has a hidden talent for jumping, and the rest, as they say is history. The story of how De Leyer trains Snowman and his jumping battles with competitors is exciting and easy enough for non-horse jumping experts to follow (especially on the audio version). I also enjoyed the details about De Leyer's journey as an immigrant from Holland, the portrayals of his family life, and his working life at the Knox school. For anyone with a love of horses, or an interest in well told stories about intriguing people and animals, this would be an excellent choice.

sherry808 Feb 14, 2012

I loved this story. I listened to the audio book and the reader was amazing. Snowman, a plow horse, was on his way to the slaughter house when Harry de Leyer looked into his eyes and felt an immediate bond. The rest is history so they say. And that history tells the stories of horses and horse breeding, horse jumping, war-ravaged and Nazi-occupied Netherlands, and of the life of the rich and famous in the 1950s. If you love horses, history, and a well-written, well-researched feel-good story, don't miss this book. I also highly recommend the audio book read by Bronson Pinchot

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