This is the true story of Harry de Leyer and his unicorn horse, Snowman, who lived in a fantasy world. Harry had just paid $80 for a horse to pull a plough, but he had no idea how it would turn the rest of his and his wife’s lives upside down.
In 1928, Harry de Leyer was born in the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant, in the town of The St Oedenrode. He grew up on a horse farm and regularly competed in show jumping competitions, but many of the Dutch horses were taken by the Germans when they invaded Holland in 1940.
Harry worked on tobacco farms in the South until he found a job as a horse groom, showing off his riding skills and talent. Harry paid the meat man $60 for the skinny horse with cut knees, a missing shoe, and tackle rubs all over his body, plus $20 to have him delivered.
Harry usually sold some of his horses at the end of each school year, so he sold the Snowman to a local doctor who, like Harry, wanted a quiet horse for himself and his children. Tired of him, the doctor asked Harry if he could look after Snowman at his farmhouse.
Snowman’s ability to jump out of the paddocks attracted intense Harry’s interest, so he decided to put him to the test over a four-foot fence. They won the Triple Crown at Madison Square Gardens in 1958, just two years after Harry rescued Snowman from the meat man.
On the other hand, a snowman won the American Horse Shows Association Horse of the Year and the Professional Horseman’s Association Champion at Madison Square Gardens for the second year in a row in 1959, becoming the first horse in history to do so. The Snowman was dubbed the “Cinderella Horse” and became a national celebrity.
In 1962, he retired from competitions and dedicated the rest of his life to Harry. Snowman’s health began to fail when he was 26 years old, and he died in 1974 from kidney failure. Despite his caretakers ‘ best efforts, the Snowman was put to sleep with his beloved owner by his side and buried in his corner of the grass farm