C.W. "Bubba" Cascio
Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2008
“All I ever wanted to do was be with horses,” C. W. “Bubba” Cascio recalled in an interview. “I never wanted to be a doctor or be president. I wanted to be a jockey. When I was a kid, I’d get in the old starting gate with a stick horse and have somebody ring the bell, and I’d come racing outta there.”
Charles W. “Bubba” Cascio was born in Houston, Texas, in 1932, and was practically raised in the sport of horse racing. His uncle managed Epsom Downs until pari-mutual wagering became illegal in Texas. The track was kept open as a training track. When he was 10 years old, “Bubba” was walking horses for trainer Will McKown. By 12, he was galloping them. At 16, he became a jockey. Cascio rode at Fairmont Park in East St. Louis, as well as many other tracks.
“When I got too heavy to ride. I took up cutting horses with trainer Matlock Rose of Gainesville, Texas. We had a lot of success,” Cascio remembers. His father, Jake Cascio, was a highly respected trainer throughout the Southwest. Cascio learned how to break and handle horses from Rose, and learned the essentials of good racing from his father.
Cascio also worked for Lester Goodson, a former AQHA president. “Goodson had an influence on my life in other ways. He believed in me, got me connections and recommended me to people.” In 1956, Cascio accompanied Goodson on a trip to give President Eisenhower two American Quarter Horses, Doodle De Do and Sporty Miss. Cascio even rode one of the Eisenhower horses in a reining pattern right there on the White House lawn.
With such a solid background, Cascio had a good foundation from which to launch a successful career, and what a career it has been. For more than four decades Cascio trained Quarter Horse racing’s top money-earners, including Dash For Cash and Dashingly. He also won the All American Futurity twice with Three Oh’s in 1968 and Rocket Wrangler in 1970.
His achievements include being awarded leading trainer at 10 different race tracks, first trainer to reach one million dollars in race earnings, and he trained horses that won 15 world racing titles. Cascio judged at AQHA shows in Texas, Kansas, Washington and Ohio. He also won cuttings at some of the world’s largest competitions. In 2001, he trained the Texas Thoroughbred Horse of the Year, Lights On Broadway, and in 2002 he was inducted into the Texas Racing Hall of Fame.
Cascio and his wife, Judy, operate Cascio Racing Stables, where “Bubba” still conditions 2-year-olds. C. W. “Bubba” Cascio was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2008.