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 Snowman

Snowman

Birth
Pennsylvania, USA
Death 24 Sep 1974 (aged 26)
Saint James, Suffolk County, New York, USA
Burial Non-Cemetery Burial, Specifically: Hollandia Farm, 47 Branglebrink Rd, Saint James, Nassau County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 83453147 · View Source
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Show Jumping Champion. Born in Pennsylvania, he was likely hard used as a plow horse for the first eight years of his life. In the winter of 1956, horse trainer and private school riding instructor Harry de Leyer arrived late to the New Holland horse auction. All that remained were the broken or rejected horses packed into the knackers van on their way to slaughter. de Leyer reportedly noticed the big grey watching him and offered the knacker a $20 profit for the gelding, purchasing him for $80. Dubbed Snowman, cared for, and fattened up, the gelding became a lesson horse for the girls at the private school for which de Leyer worked. At the end of the year the horse was sold, but jumped his paddock several times to return to de Leyer. Intrigued, de Leyer repurchased the horse and trained him as a jumper. Starting with small local shows the horse proved himself as a talented and steady performer. By 1958, he took the American Horse Shows Association Horse of the Year, Professional Horseman's Association Champion, and Champion of Madison Square Garden's Diamond Jubilee. He repeated the first two feats again in 1959. He was the first horse to earn Horse of the Year two years running. He became a media darling, touted as the "Cinderella Horse" he appeared on "The Tonight Show" and "To Tell the Truth." He brought home another handful of ribbons from Madison Square garden in 1960. He appeared in fewer shows in 1961 and 1962, he still brought home blue ribbons and still received fan letters. He became the subject of two children's books "The Story of Snowman the Cinderella Horse," by Tony Palazzo published in 1962; and "Snowman" by Rutherford Montgomery, published in 1967. In 1969, the National Horse Show publicist invited Snowman back to Madison Square Garden for an official retirement ceremony. In 1974, Snowman was about 26 years old when he was diagnosed with kidney failure. Treatment proved ineffective, he was euthanized, and buried in his favorite corner of his home pasture at Hollandia Farms. He was inducted into the National Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1992. In 2005, Petsmart Charities produced a Breyer model of Snowman, the proceeds for which would go toward support for rescued horses. Another chronicle of Snowman's life, "Eighty Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation" by Elizabeth Letts was published in 2011.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Iola
  • Added: 14 Jan 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 83453147
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Snowman (c.29 Feb 1948–24 Sep 1974), Find A Grave Memorial no. 83453147, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Non-Cemetery Burial, who reports a Hollandia Farm, 47 Branglebrink Rd, Saint James, Nassau County, New York, USA.