Gift To DeLeyer Family: Painting of Snowman

Acrylic on canvas, 47" x 36"
Pipa Cudahy Fine Art
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Anyone who has ever loved a horse knows the depth of that bond. In 1956, when Dutch immigrant Harry DeLeyer first looked over a group of horses about to be destroyed, he paid $80 and saved a big, calm white horse that his children later named “Snowman.” 

In the unbelievable journey that followed, Harry and his “Cinderella” horse Snowman went on to compete against world-class horses and win two consecutive national show jumping titles at Madison Square Garden. In 1958, the United States Equestrian Federation named Snowman “Horse of the Year.” Harry and Snowman captured the fascination of kids and the culture, as books and movies were made about this legendary pair, who even appeared on late night television when Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show on NBC.

When artist and horse lover Pipa Cudahy first saw Ron Davis' 2015 documentary film, Harry and Snowman , she was inspired by the story of the rescue horse who became a legend through Harry DeLeyer ‘s training and love. Though Snowman grew famous, scenes in the film show all eight DeLeyer kids riding on his back and swimming in the lake with him. Snowman was always a family horse at heart.

Pipa decided to create a painting that would capture the essence of Harry and Snowman’s bond, which indeed enabled the horse to soar. As Pipa worked, she became convinced that her painting ultimately belonged with Harry. The product of several years of work, her completed painting is called "Snowman Always Knew He Could Fly. " It depicts the magnificent white horse with wings leaping across the canvas accompanied by the spirit of his beloved friend and rider, Harry.

When Snowman passed away in 1974, Harry stood over his grave weeping and said simply, “He saved me.”

This fundraiser is way for Snowman’s spirit to come home once again.  Your financial support will cover the time, materials, and talent that created the work and cover the costs of its transportation and installation with the DeLeyer family, who are eager to welcome this transcendent painting into the gallery of their memories of Snowman.


"Recently a friend of the artist, Pipa Cudahy, reached out to me about a painting she spent several years working on," writes daughter and horsewoman Harriet DeLeyer. "It is her vision of my father's horse, Snowman. I am very moved by her uplifting portrait of Snowman. I will be happy to add this painting to my Snowman collection. We could all use a lift in these trying times."


Everyone who donates will be listed on a Certificate of Patronage delivered with the painting to Harriet DeLeyer. You will also receive a digital, print-ready copy of the certificate that includes an image of the artist with the painting "Snowman Always Knew He Could Fly" by way of documenting your participation in this bit of equine history. Thank you so much for your participation in the last phase of this artistic celebration of the enduring friendship between Harry and Snowman.

#SeeSnowmanFly #Equestrian #Show-Jumper #Painting #Horse #FineArt #HarryDeLeyer


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Phil Cudahy 
Chapel Hill, NC
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