It seems as if every entity today has “naming rights” — stadiums, airports, schools, even horses. Sporting events are no exception, including the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games.

Make that the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Alltech, you see, is the title sponsor.

I hope I’m not the only horse enthusiast to admit that, prior to the WEG sponsorship announcement, I’d never heard of Alltech. The name puts me in mind of a computer company — perhaps a maker of motherboards or a stable of tech-support wizzes a la Geek Squad.

I was therefore surprised to learn that Alltech is an international animal-health company headquartered in (you guessed it) Lexington, Kentucky. The equine sector is just one facet of its market, and its products revolve around things like yeast and enzymes.

A fermentation specialist might seem an unlikely bidder for top WEG naming rights, so I decided to poke around and find out a little bit about this company that’s invested heavily not only in the competition itself, but also in high-visibility pre-WEG events in Lexington itself. Here’s a sampling of what I learned.

Alltech’s sponsorship of an international equestrian event made more sense when I discovered that the company has offices and distributors in 119 countries. It produces what its Web site ( terms “feeding solutions” for the animal-health and animal-production industries. Among its products for horses is Lifeforce Formula, a digestive-health supplement. 

Founded in 1980 by an Irish yeast biochemist named Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech opened its Lexington-based intern