There's a new book coming out next week about Snowman and Harry de Leyer by Elizabeth Letts. (I received a free review copy via Amazon Vine.)
She's tried to write a book in the vein of Lauren Hildebrand's Seabiscuit, weaving the horse's career in with the history of the time. She talks about de Leyer's life as a youngster during the Nazi occupation and his decision to leave his war-torn country so that his younger brother could inherit the family farm.
She was able to interview deLeyer extensively, which shows in her final writing.
Snowman was bought for $80 off the meat truck to be a lesson horse for the Knox school - and most of the girls rode him at one point... though he was the beginner horse that you were glad to graduate from. Little kids rode him even at the height of his jumping career.
de Leyer broke him to ride - before Harry, the horse was most likely used only in harness - and tried to teach him to jump, but he was too clumsy. It wasn't until he sold Snowman as a quiet beginner horse that he discovered the horse could jump - because Snowman would not stay with his new owner. Instead, he jumped out of his paddock and came back to Harry every morning... even, finally, with a tire still attached to the lead rope of his halter.
It's not perfect - it rambles a little and can be repetitive, but for us die-hard fans, definitely a good read.
The Advance Review Copy says it will be released August 26.
I hear the real copy has a whole photo place section that the ARCs didn't have. That would be neat.
I had forgotten, before reading this, that de Leyer had brought Sinjon to the national level before the ride was given to George Morris for his Team efforts (Harry was not USET eligible). It would have been interesting for Letts to interview GM and to have developed a bit more about Sinjon. A random person reading the book would have no idea that Sinjon turned out to be a brilliant jumper and Olympic medallist for the American team, and was also inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame.