“Throw Your Heart Over The Top And Your Horse Will Follow” Advised Harry deLeyer, Who Rode Plowhorse Snowman To Show Jumping Triple Crown
October 24, 2016 — Harry & Snowman tells an improbable story: penniless Dutch immigrant Harry deLeyer, who came to America after working for the Dutch underground during World War II, found a scruffy, un-pedigreed plow horse at a horse auction in 1950. The auction was actually over. The horse, which had gone unsold during the auction, had been loaded onto the back of a truck bound for the glue factory.
But Harry liked something in the horse’s eye — a gentleness he responded to. Harry, who had become a riding instructor, always said that his connection to the horse was immediate.
Within two years, the immigrant riding teacher and the heavy set plow horse were destroying the competition at tony horse jumping shows. Snowman would win the horse jumping triple crown, beating out horses with extensive pedigrees (and huge price tags). Harry would be offered massive sums of money for his unlikely winner, but would refuse them.
Snowman’s Cinderella story would capture hearts around the world. He would have his own fan club, would be seen on television show (Johnny Carson would sit on his back on The Tonight Show) and a line of toys would be made in his image.
And in his spare time, when he wasn’t doing television shows and wining contests, Snowman would be the playmate of Harry deLeyer’s ever-growing family. Pictures of the eight deLeyer children using Snowman as a diving platform or riding him into the waves at the beach show the intimate relationship the horse had with the deLeyer family.
Harry’s daughter, Harriet, would always contend that Snowman recognized that Harry had saved his life, and that made their bond unbreakable. The horse would be inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1992.
The audience favorite documentary Harry & Snowman tells the heart-warming story of these two lifelong friends.
The New York Times raved, “The Snowman of Ron Davis’s documentary “Harry & Snowman” is a horse that melts the heart. … This film skillfully challenges our expectations by unfolding Snowman’s abilities one at a time: In summer he is a swimming water taxi for a passel of deLeyer children; in winter he pulls them on skis.
And once his rarest talent is shown, he soars. As Snowman takes the highest jumps, gathering his haunches, he extends himself until his body is almost vertical, as if he were climbing a mountain.
In the film, a student of Mr. deLeyer’s recalls some of his advice: “Throw your heart over the top, and your horse will follow.” “’Harry & Snowman’ makes you want to do the same.”
Harry & Snowman is available for pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD. The title will release on November 22.