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The Eighty-Dollar Champion- Who has read it? Should I read it?

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  • #21
    I liked it too-very interesting to see such humble beginnings for both man and horse turn into such glory.
    ~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
    ~Vintage Toy Dealer (rememberswhen.us)
    ~Vet Tech Student
    Mom to : 2 Horses, 4 Dogs, 2 Cats


    • #22
      I enjoyed it a lot! I was expecting the horse/equestrian background to be basic, and had in mind the various non horsey relatives i could get to enjoy the book. I also liked the greater sociological context of the book and the atmosphere of the time. Also, i didn't know much about George morris's early career and was thrilled when he made a cameo appearance, and delighted to realize that the horse mentioned in that mini storyline was the same one GM showed us in video clips from his early competition days.
      I didn't know about any of Harry deleyer's life (his relationship with his wife was downplayed it sounds, for the sake of the horse rags-to-riches story, but i don't think the book had to be an exhaustive and equally balanced work on Harrys life), but I'm not surprised that people who knew the person during that era found fault in some of it- its a product of being on a level of the 'inside' to be more critical of a story.
      I enjoyed the book a lot and want to read more about those days. Is there a good biography/memoir for GM or any of the other big names from that time? (Or any era since then? I'm very clueless on the professional who's-who world, even the modern day olympians...))


      • #23
        Like the fact that she put Lynchburg in the Shenandoah Valley...lol

        Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
        The book was okay, but if you grew up in Mr. de Leyer's neighborhood as both I & my husband did, you quickly realize that a certain amount of "literary license" was taken in the writing of this tale.
        Hope's Legacy Equine Rescue, Inc.


        • #24
          I grew up only knowing Snowman from CW Anderson's book, Twenty Gallant Horses. Loved the small blurb in there and, of course, his wonderful illustration.

          I am reading this now and am enjoying it quite a bit - the de Leyers' & Snowman's story in relation to the history of the time. I'd recommend it to friends, both horsey and non-horsey.


          • #25
            I really enjoyed the book. Of course I'm old enough to remember watching Snowman when he was showing. But still, I found it to be an entertaining read.


            • #26
              I recommend it. I had never heard of Snowman, but found it a great story!


              • #27
                Fascinating! All of it!
                "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James

                Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.


                • #28
                  I liked it - being a teen horsenut on LI back in the day, it was a stroll down memory lane. My best friend was one of "Harry's boys" - the one who rode his bike about 15 m to work and ride on weekends. Small world, Walter had a jumper in FL and ran into Johnny deL and had him ride the horse.

                  Yes, there could have been more 'meat' and detail horse-related, but as someone pointed out, it is a book about Harry AND Snowman, and much of Harry's background I was not familiar with.

                  And I'll put in another vote for Renegade Champion - WONDERFUL story written by son of Fitzrada's lifesaver!

                  Equine Photography in the Northeast


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by BetterOffRed View Post
                    I know who Frank Chapot, George Morris, and Bill Steinkraus are. How do I ot know about Henry de Leyer?
                    Oh and the reason you have never heard of Harry is that he was a professional. Back then, sport was considered the realm of the wealthy amateur who didn't have to work. Professionals were looked down on and certainly were not allowed to compete in FEI events. So while Harry might have ridden against Bill and Frank in open jumper classes, he was not allowed to ride in any international competitions nor could he participate in the Olympics.

                    I found that aspect of the story rather hilarious considering that, in eventing at least, it is now completely opposite -- the sport is ruled by the pros and the amateurs are often dismissed and it is the latter who must squeeze in their riding time around the edges of their jobs.
                    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                    We Are Flying Solo


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
                      The book was okay, but if you grew up in Mr. de Leyer's neighborhood as both I & my husband did, you quickly realize that a certain amount of "literary license" was taken in the writing of this tale.
                      Regarding the people? Or the horses? Or the neighborhood? Or something else?

                      I haven't read it yet.


                      • #31
                        Good read. No it is not the Bible. I doubt that it has scientific accuracy. It is not great literature.

                        It's just a damn good read.
                        "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                        • #32
                          I have the book but haven't gotten the chance to read it yet.


                          • #33
                            Good blog post about Snowman:



                            • #34
                              Originally posted by MHM View Post
                              Regarding the people? Or the horses? Or the neighborhood? Or something else?

                              I haven't read it yet.
                              A little bit of everything, but mostly the portrait of Harry & his family as some paragons of virtue.


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
                                A little bit of everything, but mostly the portrait of Harry & his family as some paragons of virtue.
                                Ah. Got it. Thanks!

                                Just out of curiosity, have you ever read Philistines at the Hedgerow? I found it to be very entertaining, but I wondered if it would seem accurate to somebody from that area.