Snowman: the 80 dollars champion

This is the story about someone who escalated from being nothing to being everything, someone who could not find a way out of his troubles and his life was doomed to end. An incredible adventure reminding us that each of us can accomplish amazing things, insofar as they can.

Read the italian version here 

A story that begins with a grey horse meant to be for agricultural work which pull the plow across the ground at the age of 8 years. Farmers would rather prefer young and energetic horses instead of horses with already developed limbs, so the grey horse wound up to be sold in a slaguhterhouse of the village. On the way to the slaughterhouse, the grey horse found himself with other horses among a bunch of “objects” bound to be put up for autcion. On that same day in 1956 a horsebackriding instructor from New York was looking for horses for his horseback riding school but he came late for the auction, so he missed all the horses considered to be some of the best ones. There was him left, a grey horse, mistreated and neutered and full of wounds on the legs and his heart. By just looking at his fur you could see all the hard work in the fields he was subjected to, also his eyes expressed grievance. But the instructor was deeply struck by this horse so he offered 80 dollars for him and let him enter his life.

The instructor’s name was Harry De Leyer and the horse, arrived on a snowy day, was called Snowman. An icy heart that was waiting to be melted, discovered.

Snowman started to do what he was choosen for: letting kids ride him. He turned out to be a phenomenal and extremely patient horse, a real teacher. That is why Harry’s neighbor proposed to pay twice as much as Harry paid for Snowman, so Snowman was sold once again. Snowmwan did not like this decision so much. So everyday he jumped the fence which separated him from who saved his life. The neighbor decided to let the horse choose and reunite Snowman with Harry. Harry accepted and bought Snowman back.

Harry had a dream, a dream that unfortunately never came true due to the large expenses that he would have to incur: train a showjumping horse and take him to the top. One day he looked Snowman in the eyes: he watched him multiple times jumping over the fence like it was the simple thing in the world. He stared at him once again and he decided to give it a try.

So without too many demands, Harry took Snowman to his first competition in 1958. So many champions and breeders called Snowman “The horse with fleas”. Against all expectations, that same horse mocked for his past, won. Race after race “the flea horse” was standing out even more, and blowing everyone away, he was getting his payback. People started to love that little big grey horse who came all the way from the fields and that now was rising to the stars. Everyone talked about him, everyone saw in him what nobody has ever been able to notice. Someone offered 100.000 dollars for that horse that even the plow mocked, but Harry turned the offer down.

Snowman won plenty of famous titles after he had been competing for two years, although his career lasted 5 years. In 1958 and 1959, he won the award “Horse of the Year” and he was registered in the “Showjumping all of fame.” The years went by, and after a lot of medals and ribbons it’s time to the retirement. Harry kept him with himeself and provided him really good care until the age of 26 years, when Snowman had to be put down due to a kidney failure.

Snowman was and is the example of the greatness, the same that we can find within ourselves, even in the most hidden or dusty part. We only need a little bit of courage to believe in our own capabilities and let someone see the light that we cannot see in ourselves.

The story of Snowman is narrated in the book “The horse that inspired a nation” by Elizabeth Letts.

Read the italian version here 



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