Customer Reviews for

The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation

Average Rating 4.5
( 237 )
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(146)

4 Star

(52)

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(27)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

25 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

Inspiring!

I wouldn't consider myself a person who ordinarily gravitates to animal stories, but Eighty Dollar Champion absolutely captivated me. Heart-warming, inspirational, and moving, the story of Harry and Snowman is without question one of my favorite books of the year. I was...
I wouldn't consider myself a person who ordinarily gravitates to animal stories, but Eighty Dollar Champion absolutely captivated me. Heart-warming, inspirational, and moving, the story of Harry and Snowman is without question one of my favorite books of the year. I was a big fan of Elizabeth Letts' fiction, and she proves in this that she's just as skilled when it comes to writing non-fiction. A perfect book to curl up after you've sent the kids back to school!

posted by anya1632 on August 17, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

A little dissapointed.

I grew up around horses, and I continue to have a love affiar with these wonderful animals. I enjoyed the story line of this book. What I didn't enjoy was all the history of jumping and current events of that time. I felt at times that the author was just filling spac...
I grew up around horses, and I continue to have a love affiar with these wonderful animals. I enjoyed the story line of this book. What I didn't enjoy was all the history of jumping and current events of that time. I felt at times that the author was just filling space. The actual story is interesting and inspiring. I would not pay full price for this book again. A little dissappointed.

posted by 1543780 on October 12, 2011

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    You will love Snowman!

    The Eighty-Dollar champion tells the extraordinary story of Snowman, the most unlikely champion jumping horse you could possibly imagine. Harry de Leyer, a poor, but determined Dutch immigrant, finds him at an auction being loaded onto the slaughter truck. He looks like he could be a reliable and steady lesson horse at Harry's riding school, so Harry takes a chance and buys him. He does turn into a quiet, dependable riding horse and for a year or more that's what Harry thinks he is. Then Harry sells him and Snowman begins jumping out of his pasture to return to Harry, over increasingly higher fences and once with a tire tied to his foot. Harry realizes there is something more to Snowman, but figuring out how to bring it out turns into an adventure.

    A heartwarming read for all the animal lovers out there, The Eighty-Dollar Champion is a perfect holiday season read. Its undemanding of the reader, just sit back and feel -good, inspired, and bask in the wildly fulfilled dreams of Harry de Leyer and Snowman. Don't expect too much depth, the characters are one-dimensional, good as good can be, and there are no surprises in the story. Snowman steals the show with his quirky personality and unexpectedly mischievous behavior. This is where Elizabeth Letts really shines, in portraying Snowman as a humble plow horse who was patiently waiting to show the world what he could do.

    I listened to the audio version of this book narrated by Bronson Pinchot. His slow, steady reading set the tone for the book, matching Snowman's deceptively calm demeanor.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great read - horse as hero

    No matter who we are we all love an underdog...um horse! Being a horse lover made this book even better for me, but even for those who don't know the smell of the stable or the power of a horse under you will love this true story about a horse with a heart the size of New York, and a man that wouldn't give up.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2011

    The graceful champion

    It a great heart warming read

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2011

    Great story

    Well researched. Fascinating bit of history.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    Good book!

    Simple, but nice story of an immigrant and his horse.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2015

    more from this reviewer

    highly positive

    better than most books about animals saved from being destroyed. very well written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2015

    Li Lovely

    Great read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Good feeling book

    I greatly enjoyed this read. Simply written and allows you to empathize and really become part of the family. Quick relaxing read that leaves you with a "feeling good" feeling.

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  • Posted August 3, 2013

    A wonderful tale of an immigrant family and a rescued horse. I h

    A wonderful tale of an immigrant family and a rescued horse. I had heard of Snowman, but had no idea of the events before he became a champion. 
    This book is about so much more though- the American dream! I could not put this book down, and am telling all my friends to read this book!

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  • Posted July 12, 2013

    A Horse Story is a horse story....

    And all horse stories are good! Enjoyed the read, really, and I'm old enough to remember some of it happening while I was growing up. Lucky horse! But lucky for everyone else, too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    Thoroughly Enjoyed

    N/A

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    A horse lovers must read!

    As someone who has owned show horses (American Saddlebreds) and has enjoyed many shows including Louisville's World Championships, I enjoyed this book and strongly recommend it. I gave it to my 11 year old "horsey" granddaughter and she agrees. Elizabeth Letts writes very well and obviously researched her subject thoroughly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Horse lovers won't want to miss!

    This is a great story for horse lovers such as myself! It is easy to root for Harry and Snowman and it is written so you are holding your breath during the dangerous jumps. A horse person will understand the lingo better and the author gets bogged down in some of the details of the era being depicted (seemed like filler at times). Would have loved to know what happened to the family I.e. why the divorce, what happened during youngest child's accident, etc.

    Fun story about an amazing horse!

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  • Posted June 16, 2013

    I recommend this to anyone who appreciates fighting for the underdog or a good horse story.

    I love horses and horse races and so I really enjoyed this book. It is a hard won success by a man and a horse and their love for each other. The life of the family is also interesting as it relates to the story of the horse.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    Recommended

    Would highly recommend this book for any horse lover. True story about a horse ready for the slaughter house but was bought from a hard-working man with a loving family and kids cheering him on. Jumps back and forth a bit at times trying to give you previous history. Learned some things about horses as automobiles became more and more popular. Well researched!!

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    Great read!

    A well written and organized book. The time line of the book did not jump all over the place but flowed in chronological order. The author not only told the story about Snowman, but also incorporated some of the economic history of the time period as well. I really enjoyed the point of view in which the story was told. The author explained the details in such a way that I could very easily put myself in the stands at the shows. I did not feel like I was reading a listing of historical facts. Great book! I am glad I purchased it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    Historical Horse Story

    An immigrant riding instructor saves a horse from being sent to slaughter by purchasing him for $80 right off the truck ready to leave for the slaughter house. this horse becomes the darling of his family and the girls at the boarding school where he helps the most timid girls to learn to ride. When he is sold to a neighboring horseman, the horse is determined to return to the immigrant and his home by jumping fences, even dragging a heavy object behind. Thus causing the immigrant to realize he has a jumper and is determined to train him as one.
    The story line is slow at times when the interesting historical events are related, but this is necessary to understand the decisions made.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2013

    a true story thats worth reading

    A very good true story. A good man trying to make it in America who paid eighty dollars for a horse going to a slaughterhouse.
    A real Cinderella story.

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  • Posted June 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I haven't finished reading this book yet, but I'm more than 100

    I haven't finished reading this book yet, but I'm more than 100 pages into it and am really enjoying it! I will admit, I wasn't expecting what another commenter called, "all the history of jumping and current events of that time." I thought I was only getting the story of Snowman, but there is a lot of history in this book. You get to learn about the history of the sport, the rise and decline of horses in society, and even their role in the Army during war times. I am pleasantly surprised! I would recommend this book to anyone who either loves history or has ever loved a horse.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2013

    A horselover's delight

    The amazing true story of a special bond between a horse and his human is inspiring. For serious horse enthusiasts the author weaves in the history of horse shows and the cultural context of horse ownership in the mid twentieth century.

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