MS Patient and Inspiration, Mary Jordan, to Compete in Para-Equestrian Championships in Norway
RELEASE: August 14, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Sarah Evers
WHAT: Interview with Mary Jordan, Equestrian and multiple sclerosis (MS) patient, competing in the 2009 FEI European and Open Para-Equestrian Dressage Championships
WHO & WHY: Jordan’s story of managing her MS to compete in the sport she loves is an inspiration to many and has gained media interest throughout the United States. Her competitive resilience so touched one Dutch family that they loaned her a horse to be able to compete in the championships.
In 2002, Jordan was first diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS (RMSS) when tingling in her middle back, hands and feet caused concern that she would be forced to hang up her saddle. Immediate action by her neurologist led to a prompt therapy implementation. Since then, she has continued in the U.S. competition circuit while remaining relapse-free.
• Jordan's participation in the European Championships will mark her entrance into the international para-dressage arena and first step in her bid to represent the U.S. at the 2010 FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games
• Jordan will be the only U.S. representative diagnosed with MS competing in the Grade 4 para-dressage classification during the championships
• After being inspired by Jordan's story, a generous family in Holland loaned her a horse to ride during the championships, offering her the opportunity to participate by alleviating the costs associated with transporting her own horse abroad
• Competitive triumphs include a preliminary division win at the 2008 U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) Area 1 Adult Team Competition and a second-place individual win in the Chronicle of the Horse
East Coast Adult Team Challenge
• Jordan said, “I look at horse riding as a conduit to illustrate the point that a person with MS can achieve a lot.”
WHEN & WHERE: August 19-23, 2009, Epona Riding Centre, Kristiansand, Norway
AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW: In addition to Jordan, a representative of the FEI Para-Equestrian Committee is also available for comment, both leading up to and during the championships.
ABOUT MS: MS affects approximately 2.5 million people worldwide. Approximately 400,000 Americans are currently diagnosed with MS, with about 200 people newly diagnosed every week.
Symptoms of MS include:
• abnormal fatigue and episodes of numbness and tingling
• loss of balance and muscle coordination making walking difficult
• slurred speech
• bladder problems