Tuesday, December 26, 2006



Pan American Team officials present at May 3, 2003 Washoe Valley 100-Mile Endurance Ride

(PRWEB) April 30, 2003

CARMEL, Calif. (PR WEB) April 30, 2003 – Alexandra North, a Certified Public Accountant and endurance rider, today announced that she and her Arabian mare, Butter Bea, are competing in the American Endurance Ride Conference’s (AERC) Washoe Valley 100-Mile endurance ride on May 3, 2003 in Carson City, Nevada. Completion of this extremely competitive race with a satisfactory ranking is critical in order for North and Butter Bea to qualify for the Pan American 100-mile race in September 2003. Race officials will be present at Washoe Valley to monitor horses, riders and crew as part of the Pan American Team selection process.

An avid horsewoman since she was a child, North took up the sport of endurance riding in 1995, just a few months before she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Rather than give up her sport, she continues to compete and is now in remission, which she credits to endurance riding. Among her greatest accomplishments is coming from behind to win the Ware Mare Award, which took 26 days on the road and 3,335 miles of hauling. To date, North and Butter Bea have competed in 44 rides and logged over 2,400 miles.

"Multiple sclerosis is challenging, but it has never stopped me from competing,” said North. “During one race, my fiancée had to lift me into the saddle, but I still finished in the top ten. Being sick is hard to deal with. But if you can focus on things that are interesting to you, then you can overcome a lot of obstacles."

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects nerve function. Characterized by symptoms that vary in degree and intensity, including numbness, muscle spasms and extreme weakness, multiple sclerosis is unpredictable, and leaves some of its victims wheelchair-bound or bedridden. Recently, North became aware of the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Project (MSQLP), a Carmel, California-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with multiple sclerosis and their families in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties. North now volunteers her time as the organizationÂ’s spokesperson, and encourages the community to sponsor her rides, either by mile, by event, or in lump sum, to help raise money for MSQLP. Tax-deductible donations for NorthÂ’s Washoe Valley race can be mailed to: MSQLP, P. O. Box 223537, Carmel, California 93922-3537. For more information, please call MSQLP at: (831) 457-7786. Funding will provide critically needed resources and services for individuals and families dealing with multiple sclerosis.

“Alex is a model for what MSQLP is trying to accomplish,” said Dr. Lotte Marcus, co-founder and president of MSQLP, and a Carmel psychologist. “MSQLP is initiating a pilot program based a Needs Assessment Survey conducted in May 2002, which shows a need for unified and ongoing customized treatment plans for individual patients in the tri-County area. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for people suffering from multiple sclerosis so that they can continue to live independent and productive lives.”

Endurance ride horses receive the very best of care, with regular breaks for food, water, rest and veterinary checks. Races are governed by the AERC, founded in 1972, which has developed rules and strict controls to ensure the health and welfare of the horses competing in endurance rides. The AERC sanctions more than 700 rides each year. To access NorthÂ’s and Butter BeaÂ’s ride history, visit AERC online, at www. aerc. org.

On May 30 and May 31, 2003, North and Butter Bea will make a public appearance at the Western States Horse Expo, California State Fair, in Sacramento. For more information about the largest and most comprehensive equine exposition and trade show in North America, visit http://www. horsexpo. com/ (http://www. horsexpo. com/).

About Alexandra North

An avid horsewoman since the age of eight, North started endurance riding in 1995, a few months before she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In spite of unpredictable and sporadic symptoms, North continues to pursue her passion for riding because of the healing effects it provides. After learning about the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Project (MSQLP), she now competes to raise funds for MSQLP, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals and families deal with the long-term, disabling effects of multiple sclerosis. In 2002, North and her horse, Butter Bea, ranked fourth in the nation for miles raced, won the American Endurance Ride ConferenceÂ’s (AERC) coveted War Mare award, the Pioneer Award for the middleweight division, took first place in the West region Middleweight Division and the West Region overall. North recently completed a 100-mile ride to gain her Certificate of Capability that qualifies her to nominate for the September 2003 Pan American Endurance Championships, held in Washington State. Participation in the Pan American creates a possibility to be on the United States Equestrian Team that will go on to the World Endurance Cup held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in December 2004. Formerly with Dunlap, Slade, Lubow in Carmel, North launched her own CPA practice in 1999 so she would have more flexibility to participate in endurance rides. Prior to Dunlap, Slade, Lubow, North was with Maryanov Madsen Gordon & Campbell in Palm Springs. North holds a BA in Journalism from Humboldt State University, Arcata, California, and received her certificate in Financial Accounting from National University in San Diego.

About the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Project

The Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Project (MSQLP), in cooperation with the Silicon Valley Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, is a 501 (c) (3) Not-for-Profit Corporation dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with MS and their families. MSQLP is creating a pilot program for the tri-county area (Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz) that establishes a new standard of excellence in care and service. Based on results obtained from a comprehensive Needs Assessment Survey conducted by MSQLP in May 2002, this program represents a departure from the traditional “to do for” philosophy by utilizing a “to do with” approach, and focuses on providing many forms of assistance designed to help clients overcome the physical and/or emotional problems that have made life more difficult. By encouraging participation in every step of the process, MSQLP helps clients maintain independence, take control, and live fulfilling and productive lives. For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution, contact MSQLP at (831) 457-7786, or P. O. Box 223537, Carmel, California 93922-3537.