The $80 champion

Last week the George Stubbs painting Gimcrack on the Heath, sold for $36 million. But the not every horse of great value carries such a high price tag. The great show jumper, Snowman, was purchased by Harry de Layer for $80 from the New Holland auction. Now there’s the kind of diamond in the rough that people dream about.

While de Layer was looking for a school horse, the former plow horse had a real talent for jumping that de Layer was able to tap into. He was champion at The National Horse Show in 1958 and won the stake there in 1959. He was the American Horse Shows Association Horse of the Year in 1958 and 1959, and he won the Professional Horsemen’s Association Championship both years as well.

Snowman was also know for his extremely calm disposition. At the Smithtown Horse Show, he one both the leadline class and the open jumper championship.

A new book about Snowman is being published in August. Here’s a video clip of the author talking about it.

3 thoughts on “The $80 champion

  1. I love this story, I knew Harry de Layer as a small child. He put me on my first horse. I grew up, owned my own horse ranch & enjoy horses to this day, many years later. This is one story worth reading. Awesome writer Elizabeth Letts does an amazing job of telling this story. Thanks to Harry de Layer & to the writer.

  2. For any of us who were fortunate enough to have experienced the horse show “Circuit” in the 1950’s ,’60’s and ’70’s, this book is a gem. I am so grateful to the author, Elizabeth Letts, for her beautiful portrayal of the relationship between a determined immigrant equestrian, his mirror image in a horse and their time in American history. I was transported back to the magic of the sweetest time in my own personal history. Thank you for the gift of this story, so well told.

  3. This is a beautiful story, anyone who has had a strong bond with their horse will appreciate this.

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