August 12, 2014- Las Vegas Events, Inc., producer of the 2015 FEI World Cup Finals, has announced it will be honoring long time IAEJ member John Quirk by establishing a trophy in his memory. The John Quirk Cup will be presented to the winner of the $75,000 Grand Prix of Las Vegas at next April’s event.
John was a member of the IAEJ for 22 years, from 1986 to 2008. The equestrian journalist, novelist and publisher, passed away on
April 12, 2012. John and his photographer wife Tish, were constants on the West Coast show circuit. Apart from running their magazine, Horses, the couple were fanatical horse owners and breeders. They were good at it too, breeding lots of winners, among them Olympic gold medallists Calypso and The Freak).
During the 1980s, John worked tirelessly to bring high profile Jumping events to Californiaâ??s Del Mar National and in 1992 he succeeded with the FEI World Cup Jumping Final. He parlayed that achievement into a leading role in the arrival of the FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Las Vegas in 2000. Certain that hosting the World Cup Final in the “Entertainment Capital of the World” would help promote the equestrian sport like never before, John convinced all of the appropriate people in Las Vegas and the FEI and created a legacy for himself and Las Vegas. The first Final in Las Vegas was such an overwhelming success that the FEI returned it there in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. Las Vegas was first to hold a dual final, adding the dressage Final in 2005. Jumping and Dressage Finals then became the norm in 2007 and 2009.
In 2015, the Thomas & Mack Center will host both the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final and the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final, April 15-19.
“Anyone who has ever enjoyed one of our World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, or who is a fan of show jumping and dressage in general, owes a lot to John Quirk,” said Pat Christenson, President of Las Vegas Events, Inc. “Without his insistence and persuasion, the World Cup Finals never would have come to Las Vegas and we are honored to pay tribute to him with the establishment of the John Quirk Cup.”