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Buffalo Expands Whipping Rule

Published: February 21, 2020 3:20 pm ET

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Buffalo Raceway has instituted stage three of the three-tiered 'whipping rule' that will go into effect on Wednesday, March 4.

First introduced in June of 2019 with minimum driving restrictions, the rule was expanded at the start of the 2020 season with drivers required to keep a line in each hand (except as may be necessary to adjust equipment) from the start of the race until the top of the stretch, with both hands to stay in front of the body and not raised above the shoulder from the start of the race until the finish. Continuous whipping is prohibited.

Stage three will now require drivers to keep a line in each hand for the entire race.

"We are pleased with the positive reaction so far received from patrons, horse owners and trainers, and the total support from the judges and the Western New York Harness Horsemen's Association," said Buffalo Raceway racing secretary Tom Agosti. "There have only been two track imposed suspensions to date for violations of the rule. Everyone seems to be on board."

Buffalo Raceway is on the grounds owned by the Erie County Agricultural Society, which hosts many animal related events including the Erie County Fair in August.

"Our racing operation is in line with the Erie County Agricultural Society's mission statement that the welfare of all animals on the grounds is a top priority," said CEO Jessica Underberg. "We are going in the right direction."

Racing will resume at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday evening (Feb. 22) with a 13-race card set for 6 p.m.

For more information, including the latest news, race replays, results, entries, simulcast schedule and upcoming promotions, go to

(Buffalo Raceway)

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