'Torture' Of Horses Exposed As Renowned Trainer Pleads Guilty

It's an open secret in the horse-training world. For decades, some show-horse trainers have been rubbing their mares' forelegs with caustic chemicals, so that the animals feel extraordinary pain, and walk with an exaggerated, elegant gait -- the kind that wins horse competitions.

And for almost all that time, Congress has thought this practice, known as "soring," was totally horrible -- making it illegal to show, sell, exhibit, or transport "sored" horses with the Horse Protection Act of 1970.

But 42 years later, "Soring-gate" has arrived. Renowned horse trainer Jackie McConnell (right, in photo) pleaded guilty last week to one count of conspiracy to violate the Horse Protection Act, reports DVM Newsmagazine.