News of the Day


by Craig Altschul

Topper, a Tennessee Walking Horse, and Vietnam Vet David Chase, have connected with each other through the Horses for Heroes program. The program offers therapies tailored specifically to the needs of service personnel and ex-military men and women, said the Times Argus. The program, coordinated through four certified stables and the Veterans Administration, includes High Horses in Wilder, Dream On Curls in Springfield, CHAMP (Champlain Adaptive Mounted Program) in So. Hero, and Water Tower Farm in Marshfield where David and Topper met. The sessions involve not only the horse and rider, but a leader for the horse and one or more side-walkers for support, if needed. Chase is luckier than most, as he is physically capable. Not only has David made a horse friend, but a human friend with volunteer Ernie Penley. The two Marines discovered they served in the same regiment, but different battalion, during their overlapping tours of duty in Vietnam. It took a horse, of course, to bring everyone together.

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About Craig Altschul

Craig Altschul is Editorial Director of He is a veteran snow journalist, having covered the sport for more than 40 years. His syndicated snow sports humor column, Ski Tips, ran in newspapers across the country for 20 years. He was Global Editor-in-Chief for OnTheSnow for 12 years and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Altschul is past president of both the Eastern Ski Writers Association and the North American Snow Journalists Association.

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