FilmRise, with sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has selected Jan. 17 as the DVD street date for documentary filmmaker Ron Davis’ Harry and Snowman, a feel-good tale about a World War II vet and riding instructor named Harry de Leyer, who paid the princely sum of eighty bucks to rescue a plow horse from a trip to the slaughter house.
The film arrives with an ARR of 109 and domestic ticket sales from its limited theatrical run currently stand at $525,058 (that’s an outstanding number for a documentary).
You can’t make this stuff up — sure Hollywood tries, but this is the real deal. As the story goes, Harry took the ungainly, but placidly calm white horse back to his Long Island-based riding school for kids to get use to being on the back of a horse. Nothing special. Because he was white, he was named Snowman.
That was in 1956. Within two years de Leyer and his rescued horse had become fast friends and won the horse show jumping Triple Crown — the American Horse Shows Association Horse of the Year, the Professional Horseman's Association Champion and the Champion of Madison Square Garden's Diamond Jubilee (all in 1958) — and was twice named the United States Open Jumper Champion (1958 and 1959).
Seriously, Snowman was one of the great jumping horses of all time and if not for Harry being in the right place at the right moment in time he would have been slaughtered at the local glue factory. Snowman was named to the United States Show Jumping Hall of Fame, became an international celebrity and the subject of two books, including Elizabeth Letts 2011 New York Times best-selling, “Eighty Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation.”
If you are looking for a feel-good movie to drive away those January winter blues, then Harry and Snowman is the perfect DVD for you.