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

The Eighty-Dollar Champion Cover - P 2014

The Eighty-Dollar Champion Cover - P 2014

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. 

STORY: 2014 Book Preview: Lena Dunham, J.K. Rowling and Other Hot Authors

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.