WEG accuses trade show of 'ambush marketing'

The organizers of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games have sent a cease and desist letter to the International Equestrian Festival, an equine expo being planned in downtown Lexington during the Games.

Joe Terry, a lawyer for and member of the WEG Foundation's board, confirmed he had sent a letter asking them to stop "attempting to market their event using the Games as a marketing feature.

"It's what we call ambush marketing," said Terry, who would not release a copy of the letter. "It's where you attempt to use the good will of one event to support another product."

Terry said he has sent letters to other organizations, including the Georgetown Equine Expo. The matter could lead to litigation, Terry said, but generally the two parties reach agreement.

"We don't think anyone would confuse our independently produced International Equestrian Festival in the Lexington Center with the World Equestrian Games," said Kimberly Brown, a vice president of Horse Capital Productions, which is producing the IEF, in a statement.

"Like others, we are simply celebrating the excitement associated with the Games, and we have taken great care to establish our independence and our own brand for our event," she said.

The IEF will feature an equine and art trade show, equine demonstrations and other events. Horse Capital Productions is also organizing horse farm tours during the Games.

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