Quick, say it with me, who is our favorite non-retired racehorse rags-to-riches champion feel-good real-life horse?
SNOWMAN! SNOWMAN! SNOWMAN!
Of course it’s Snowman, what other choice could we have? The big grey plow horse who went from the New Holland kill-buyer, literally bought right off the van to slaughter, who went on to become an international show jumping champion/family pet, has to be one of the greatest horse stories of all time. He’s amazing because he’s true.
Snowman’s biography, The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation, has been a best-seller since its release in 2011 (and the Retired Racehorse review remains one of the top posts on this site). Now the next best thing to a book, a documentary, is being made about Snowman, and you can help.
HARRY AND SNOWMAN is being produced by Docutainment Films, who have made two documentaries before, both about beauty pageants. Wait! Not just beauty pageants. The first one, PAGEANT, is actually about contestants in the 34th annual Miss Gay America Pageant, so that’s pretty cool.
Featuring stunning musical numbers, this movie dives into the heart and soul of this make-believe world: the men behind the make up.
I like it.
The second one, MISS YOU CAN DO IT, is about the first woman with disabilities to participate in the Miss USA Pageant, and the pageant she would create, Miss You Can Do It, specifically for girls with disabilities.
Abbey founded the Miss You Can Do It Pageant in 2004 and girls and their families travel from around the country to participate in this event where their inner beauty and abilities reign.
I LIKE it!
In other words, the people at Docutainment seem pretty interested in finding the heart-and-soul stories of underdogs with big dreams and seemingly impossible hopes. I think that anyone of us who has ever taken a look at a rag-tag bucket-of-bones horse and seen a show horse, let alone a champion, can appreciate that.
The website for HARRY & SNOWMAN is requesting historical archives relating to the horse and rider team, specifically film, photos, and articles of:
- Harry deLeyer
- 1950s jumper champions: Andante, Sonora, McLain Street, Australis and Windsor Castle
- National Horse Shows between 1955—1965
- The deLeyer Family
- Dutch Crown
- Horse Shows between 1955—1965
- Jumper classes between 1955—1965
- Writings and photos of Marie LaFrenz
- New Holland PA horse auction
This is a wonderful excuse to climb into the attic and pull down all those boxes of horse memorabilia that the people around you said was a waste of time and space to keep, open them up in the living room, and scatter old newspapers about horse shows all over your house. Especially as the weather is supposed to be bad. Just make some coffee and have a good time with it. And if you don’t find anything that’s been requested for the Snowman project, you’ll still have a good time looking at old horse stuff. That’s never a waste of time.
And head over to the HARRY & SNOWMAN website to watch a great little video preview, featuring photos and film footage of Harry looking frankly very dangerous as he jumps Snowman over huge obstacles with neither a hard hat nor what I would call a steady lower-leg position, and then letting that adorable horse carry his adorable children around on swimming excursions. It’s going to be an amazing, wonderful film about an amazing, wonderful partnership!
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