MGM Acquires Best-Selling Book 'Eighty-Dollar Champion' (Exclusive)

6:00 AM PST 01/21/2014 by Erik Hayden
"The Eighty-Dollar Champion"

UPDATED: Elizabeth Letts' 2011 hit recounted the 1950s story of plow-horse-turned-show-champion Snowman.

MGM has acquired the screen rights to The Eighty-Dollar Champion, which recounts the exploits of Snowman, a former plow horse who gained fame after winning the 1958 show horse triple crown.

The 2011 book by Elizabeth Letts, a former competitive rider in show horse events, made The New York Times best-seller list. 

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The book traces the story of rider and trainer Harry De Leyer, who saw show potential in Snowman and purchased the horse for $80. MGM had already acquired the rights to Leyer's life story.

A blurb on the front cover of the paperback version of Champion compared the story with that of Seabiscuit, the horse that bested the heavily favored War Admiral in a 1938 match race. 

Seabiscuit's story was the subject of a best-selling book by Laura Hillenbrand that was adapted into a 2003 film by Universal and DreamWorks that starred Tobey Maguire and Jeff Bridges and grossed $120 million domestically.

Letts is repped by APA and Folio Literary Management in New York.

 

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