Memorable Moment #3: An Emotional Night at the 2015 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas
The class was dedicated to John Quirk, the person primarily responsible for first bringing the FEI World Cup Finals to Las Vegas.
Las Vegas, Nevada • Thomas & Mack Center -
Although not one of the competitions determining the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup champion when the Finals were last held in Las Vegas in 2015, the $75,000 Canadian Pacific Grand Prix of Las Vegas proved to be a very emotional night, evoking heartwarming memories of two people not in attendance.
The class was dedicated to John Quirk, the person primarily responsible for first bringing the FEI World Cup Finals to Las Vegas. A west coast show jumping horse owner, breeder, and magazine publisher, Quirk had been part of the team that had brought the Finals to Del Mar, California in 1992 and then led the charge in establishing the highly successful Finals in the “Entertainment Capital of the World.” This was the first Final after his passing and the event’s organizing committee chose to honor John by presenting the “John Quirk Cup” to the Grand Prix winner. John’s wife, Tish, full of emotion, was on hand for the presentation.
The winner of the Cup turned out to be New Zealand rider Katie Laurie, who claimed the win on Kiwi Iron Mark. When presented with the Cup, Laurie shared that the horse had previously been ridden by a close friend, Melanie Purcell, who had been diagnosed with cancer and had passed away. Laurie took over the ride when Kiwi Iron Mark was just seven years old. Fighting back tears, Laurie shared that Melanie’s family had made the trip from New Zealand to see Laurie ride Kiwi Iron Mark and was on hand for her win that evening. For Laurie, as she recalled her dear friend, the win was meaningful and emotional, much as Tish Quirk’s night was as she recalled her dear husband, John!