When approached in 2008, Dr. T. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech Inc., had no second thoughts when he agreed to his company serving as the naming sponsor for the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games. Ultimately, the investment by Alltech in the event will top $25 million. The gesture is intended to elevate Alltech Inc. to a position among the top three companies in Kentucky and to enhance the status of the commonwealth to preeminence in the equine world. The initiative demonstrated by Pearse Lyons will benefit the image of U.S. livestock production as TV viewers in over 100 nations and over 700,000 attendees during the 16-day event will be exposed to the best of our nation’s intensive food production.
Sponsorship was a courageous initiative for the company which has recently been recognized internationally as the manufacturer of a proven dietary performance enhancer for horses. Sales of Lifeforce, adopted by equine nutritionists and horse lovers is overshadowed by the vast scope and size of the Alltech portfolio of natural, safe and efficacious products for food-producing livestock and aquaculture. Alltech now has a presence in 100 countries and employs 2,300 scientists, technicians, sales representatives and administrative personnel and in the top 20 animal health companies worldwide.
Through sponsorship of the 2010 Alltech-FEI World games the company has increased the visibility and importance of U.S. feed suppliers. The event will establish a positive connection between animal production and the public attending the Games and viewing events on television.
History of the FEI World Equestrian Games
The World Equestrian Games are held every four years, two years prior to the Summer Olympic Games and are governed by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI). This is the international governing body for equestrian sports recognized by the International Olympic Committee. The FEI encompasses more than 130 member countries. Details are available on the organization’s website at www.fei.org.
Over the past 20 years, five World Equestrian Games have been held starting in 1990 in Stockholm Sweden with six champion events. The World Equestrian Games moved to The Hague, Netherlands in 1994, drawing on the experience gained in Stockholm. In 1998 five disciplines were contested in Rome, Italy with the endurance championships in Dubai, UAE. The games were expanded during the 2002 event in Jerez, Spain, with the addition of Reining as a world championship event. The most recent games in 2006 were held in Aachen, Germany. The event attracted more than 570,000 attendees over the two-week duration. Over 850 horses participated from 61 countries and the 2006 games were the most heavily publicized and attended equestrian event to date.
The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will be held in the U.S. for the first time, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. In addition to the seven traditional disciplines the FEI has added para-equestrian competition. Alltech Inc will be the naming sponsor of the games which will take place from September 25 through October 10, 2010.
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) as the National governing body for equestrian sport in the U.S. will be responsible for selection training, equipping and financing the national team to represent the U.S. USEF was instrumental in successfully bidding for the privilege of hosting the 2010 World Equestrian Games.
The World Games 2010 Foundation which is a non-profit organization will be responsible for implementing the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Revenue will be derived from sponsorship, ticket sales, hospitality and public sources.
The following disciplines will comprise the 2010 World Equestrian Games:
- Dressage – Divided into Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle events
- Driving – This will comprise driving dressage, a marathon competition and an obstacle course
- Endurance – The course will extend over 100 miles with 70% of the trail over mowed pastures and pathways and the remainder over farm roads
- Eventing – An all around test of horse and rider comprising dressage, cross-country and jumping spread over three consecutive days
- Show Jumping – Evaluation of horse and rider over an obstacle course to evaluate skill, speed and obedience
- Para-Dressage – Riders with physical disabilities are able to compete in individual and team events
- Reining – This traditional U.S. discipline requires horse and rider to compete to demonstrate balance and maneuvers used by professional cowhands
- Vaulting – This is required to complete gymnastic routine on cantering horses for both free style and compulsory routines
Venue for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games
The Kentucky Horse Park extends over 1,200 acres and has been developed to accommodate the 2010 Alltech-FEI World Equestrian Games. This venue hosts the Rolex Kentucky three-day event, The High Hope Steeplechase, The United States Polo Club, the Kentucky Fall Classic Saddlebred Show and Grand Prix jumping events. Details are available at www.kyhorsepark.com.
The Kentucky Horse Park welcomes over 900,000 visitors and 15,000 competition horses each year for various exhibitions and competitions. The following facilities will be available for the 2010 Alltech-FEI World Equestrian Games:
- An outdoor stadium completed in 2009 has been expanded to provide 30,000 seats
- The indoor arena completed in 2009 will seat 6,000 and represents the most modern equestrian stadium in the world incorporating climate control, special surfaces, and hospitality suites
- The driving stadium will seat 6,000
- Additional temporary structures for the 2010 games will include hospitality and media centers, competitors’ chalets, a trade show, grooms’ village and various spectator attractions
- The Kentucky Experience will feature entertainment showcasing the horse world and Kentucky products
- The Alltech International Pavilion will display exhibits from around the world and will provide live entertainment by local, regional, and international performers
- The 2010 World Equestrian Games Trade Show will feature 300 vendors offering horse-related merchandise
- The Equine Village attendees will view demonstrations, lectures and entertainment presented by breed discipline and show organizations
2010 FEI Alltech Equestrian Games Sponsors
- Title Sponsor – Alltech Inc
- Platinum: Rolex
- Gold: Ariat, John Deere
- Corporate: American Quarter Horse Association, University of Kentucky, UK HealthCare and Rood Riddle Equine Hospital
- Associate: Blue Grass Airport, Fortune Realty, Kentucky Ale, L.V. Harkness & Co., Tarter Equipment
Alltech Fortnight Festival
The Alltech Fortnight Festival for 2010 will take place from September 25through October 10 and will continue the tradition established 2008. The series which will be statewide in extent will include 13 cities, 22 venues and will comprise 75 acts at 45 events. Presentation will include classic rock, bluegrass, country, folk and grand opera. For details, access www.alltechfortnightfestival.com.