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The Horse Protection Act of 1970 is a United States federal law, under which the practice of soring is a crime punishable by both civil and criminal penalties. Soring is the practice of applying irritants (including objects such as nails, example pictured) or blistering agents to the front feet or forelegs of a horse, making it pick its feet up higher in an exaggerated manner that creates the "action" desired in the show ring, giving practitioners an unfair advantage over other competitors. The Act makes it illegal to show a horse or enter it at a horse show, to auction, sell, offer for sale, or transport a horse for any of these purposes if it has been sored. It is enforced by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Violations are detected by observation, palpation and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to identify chemicals on horses' legs. Certain training techniques and topical anesthetics can be used to avoid detection by the first two methods. In 2013, an amendment to the Act was proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives to toughen penalties and outlaw "stacks", or layers of pads attached to the front hooves. (Full article...)
The Liber Eliensis ("Book of Ely") is a 12th-century English chronicle and history, written in Latin. Composed in three books, it was written at Ely Abbey on the island of Ely in the fenlands of eastern Cambridgeshire. Ely Abbey became the cathedral of a newly formed bishopric in 1109. The Liber covers the period from the founding of the abbey in 673 until the middle of the 12th century, building on a number of earlier historical works. It incorporates documents and stories of saints' lives and is a typical example of a kind of local history produced during the latter part of the 12th century. The longest of the contemporary local histories, it describes the devastation caused by the disorders during the reign of King Stephen, as well as the career of Nigel (Bishop of Ely 1133–69) and his disputes with the king. The two surviving complete manuscripts of the work are complemented by a number of partial manuscripts. A printed version of the Latin text appeared in 1963 and an English translation was published in 2005. The Liber Eliensis is an important source of historical information for the region and period it covers, and particularly for the abbey and bishopric of Ely. (Full article...)