Harry de Leyer, St. James resident and equestrian legend alongside Snowman, to be laid to rest

De Leyer, the oldest of 12 children, came to the U.S. and eventually ended up on Long Island. He taught riding lessons at the Knox School for more than two decades and owned a horse farm in St. James.

News 12 Staff

Jul 5, 2021, 9:30 PM

Updated 1,016 days ago

Share:

A Dutch immigrant and former St. James resident who lived a true rags to riches story as an expert equestrian will be laid to rest Tuesday.
Harry de Leyer died at 93 two weeks ago. In his time, he became an equestrian legend and a true showman.
De Leyer, the oldest of 12 children, came to the U.S. and eventually ended up on Long Island. He taught riding lessons at the Knox School for more than two decades and owned a horse farm in St. James.
He bought his horse, Snowman, at an auction in Pennsylvania, saving him from slaughter.
"He said that he saw a kindness in his eye and just something about that horse," says Andre De Leyer, his son.
De Leyer and Snowman became inseparable in competition and in life. And the success rolled in.
Snowman was also a favorite of de Leyer's eight kids -- with Andre calling him a "one in a million horse."
Snowman is buried on what was the family's farm. Even though there is a new owner now, the grave remains.
Andre says his dad never really retired. In fact, he reinvented his competitive self later in life. He then became known as "the Galloping Grandfather."


More from News 12
2:08
Alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer appears in court; judge works to set trial date

Alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer appears in court; judge works to set trial date

1:22
Cloudy skies and showers develop this evening on Long Island

Cloudy skies and showers develop this evening on Long Island

1:43
Cupcake Moms deliver baked goods to Ronald McDonald House

Cupcake Moms deliver baked goods to Ronald McDonald House

1:43
Riverhead School District approves budget, still plans to cut positions

Riverhead School District approves budget, still plans to cut positions

0:24
Police: 2nd suspect arrested for fatal Brentwood hit-and-run

Police: 2nd suspect arrested for fatal Brentwood hit-and-run

0:20
Police: EMT identified as motorcyclist killed in Bay Shore crash

Police: EMT identified as motorcyclist killed in Bay Shore crash

2:13
Local farm gives neurodivergent people a place to flourish

Local farm gives neurodivergent people a place to flourish

0:26
Former NYC officer and Marine reservist pleads not guilty to deadly DWI crash in Valley Stream

Former NYC officer and Marine reservist pleads not guilty to deadly DWI crash in Valley Stream

0:19
Police: Suspect wanted for burglarizing Farmingdale restaurant

Police: Suspect wanted for burglarizing Farmingdale restaurant

0:53
‘Not all superheroes wear capes’: Lake Grove elementary student thanks classmate and custodian that saved her from choking

‘Not all superheroes wear capes’: Lake Grove elementary student thanks classmate and custodian that saved her from choking

2:14
No layoffs in Sachem School District; multimillion-dollar budget shortfall remains

No layoffs in Sachem School District; multimillion-dollar budget shortfall remains

2:06
School superintendent: No major cuts to programs or school closures this year in Long Beach

School superintendent: No major cuts to programs or school closures this year in Long Beach

1:34
West Islip BOE approves $139M budget as parents address safety concerns

West Islip BOE approves $139M budget as parents address safety concerns

1:40
West Islip student accused of bringing gun, bullets to high school pleads not guilty

West Islip student accused of bringing gun, bullets to high school pleads not guilty

0:37
Adventureland opens Tuesday for people with autism and their loved ones

Adventureland opens Tuesday for people with autism and their loved ones

0:23
Police: Tractor-trailer filled with potatoes goes up in flames on LIE

Police: Tractor-trailer filled with potatoes goes up in flames on LIE

1:04
Driver in fatal shooting of Detective Jonathan Diller pleads not guilty

Driver in fatal shooting of Detective Jonathan Diller pleads not guilty

1:59
State budget tentative agreement allows school boards to move forward

State budget tentative agreement allows school boards to move forward

1:30
DEC: 3rd layer discovered under chemical drums already uncovered at Bethpage park

DEC: 3rd layer discovered under chemical drums already uncovered at Bethpage park

0:22
Police: 2 officers injured while making arrest at Bellerose 7-Eleven

Police: 2 officers injured while making arrest at Bellerose 7-Eleven