The Eighty-Dollar Champion

  • by Elizabeth Letts
  • Narrated by Bronson Pinchot
  • 10 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

November 1958, New York. Into the rarefied atmosphere of wealth and tradition at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden 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.
Reminiscent of the inspiring, against-the-odds success story that made Seabiscuit a best seller, The Eighty-Dollar Champion tells of 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.

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What the Critics Say

“This is a wonderful book—joyous, heartfelt, and an eloquent reminder that hope can be found in the unlikeliest of places.” (Gwen Cooper, New York Times best-selling author)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

When will this story become a movie

Even if you know nothing about horse jumping you will enjoy this book. Elizabeth Letts pays a lot of attention to details and lets the reader feel they are part of the story. She gives the background and nuance so we can appreciate the struggles and triumphs of a champion. I would have like to know this horse, what a wonderful story.
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- eddie

Heartful, inspiring, WONDERFUL book!

This is a story for all animal lovers and all Americans. It is the story of the underdog - the American 'rags to riches' dream, all told in an eloquent, inspiring tone. The narrator wasn't the greatest, but he improved throughout the story and there was nothing irritating about his style. Unlike other reviewers, I loved the American history lesson that went along with horse story. It added depth and meaning to the story. Even if you don't care for horses, or don't know much about them, this story will make you a horse lover, or at the very least develop compassion for animals. It will inspire you to be a better person. As an avid, this is in the top five books I have read in the last 2 years!
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- Corrine

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-25-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.