Rockdale, Texas, with a population of 5,800 and located in Milan County, is named after a rock standing twelve feet high two miles north of the present day town. Although not incorporated until 1878, the community swelled in 1874 as the Great Northern Railway roared its way to and from Rockdale. The passenger depot built in 1906 stands as a landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A little more than a century after the town’s founding, it would become a hotbed of canine velocity, rivaling the muscle and surge of the long ago locomotives. C & C Greyhound Farm is now home to only two broods, brindle Hookem Shakee, an iron horse herself starting 163 times, and Home Made Money, a speedy stakes placed black streak. It wasn’t always this way…
Buddy Scitern was born in Monahans, Texas, to full time homemaker Shirley and father Cotton, who owned and ran four Ideal Pump and Supply stores that catered to the demands of the petroleum industry. Buddy, an oil industry veteran, began inserting rod pumps at age twelve, and is currently working at Endurance Lift Solutions as an ALS representative. He graduated from Devine High School, but not before landing a fourth place finish in the 1982 state high school golf championship AND his future wife Carrie.
Buddy and Carrie married January 8, 1983, and honeymooned in Rockdale, establishing a store for Cotton and soon settled there permanently. Buddy’s interest in greyhounds developed years ago at the late Bo Titsworth’s farm in Cameron, Texas, where he fell in love with the dogs circling the training track. With a little help from their Bay State pal in Penbrook, David Jeswald, Buddy, and Carrie founded C & C Greyhound Farm in 1987. On nineteen acres, including a training track, two kennels, thirty-six runs, and a five acre sprint field, it hosted 250 greys and employed three helpers at its peak. Once associated with legendary stakes winner and sire Trent Lee and sprint monster Craigie Whistler, Buddy remembers the best dog to ever lay a paw on the farm, Rastro Ricky.
Owned by David Jeswald, Rastro Ricky was whelped in May of 1991 on Roland Cordiero’s farm in Swansea, Massachusetts, and sent to the Sciterns at four months old to be finished. When returned, Nostradamus couldn’t have forecasted the shock waves the handsome white male with a brindle ear and temple would send the New England circuit.
Rastro Ricky broke his maiden in a 5/16 race in his second start as a member of the Nanci Caswell Kennel, and begged for more real estate as shorter trips barely allowed him to stretch his legs. When started at 3/8 and 7/16, his longer distance win record would have made even 2017 New York Marathon winner Shalane Flanagan take notice. As victories accumulated, Rastro Ricky ran the 7/16 distance at Lincoln setting a record in 43.38 seconds shattering the old one of 43.90. Soon, David Jeswald advertised for national contenders to challenge Ricky at the 7/16 distance as the dog literally ran out of competition. This challenge produced three match races.The first match race held at Lincoln on 11/11/93 ended in a 20 length drubbing of Bay Point Kennel’s Boligee Roospur and Boligee Gunny. A second match race held 02/25/1994 at Hollywood pitted Rastro Ricky against home court favorite Ready To Rave of the Dick Andrews Kennel. Ready To Rave was left reeling in the wake of Ricky’s 6 1/2 length victory. Match race #3 returned to Lincoln on April 1 of 1994 against King Cameron, track record holder of Bluffs Run’s 3/8 and 7/16 distances. The representative of the Jandylor Kennel was shown the door and who was boss, after a 7 length thrashing courtesy of Rastro Ricky. Historically, in post race celebration, more often than not with no need for male enhancements, Ricky would find the closest female in cool out, and assert himself in an overtly amorous way that might result in public outcries and lawsuits if exhibited by human counterparts.
Rastro Ricky’s racing career was abruptly cut short by an injury while schooling for a rematch with King Cameron at Bluffs Run in April of 1994, but not before accumulating 37 victories, 11 seconds, and 3 thirds in 60 lifetime starts, including Raynham All American Triathalon Finalist honors. During his stud and retirement years, he lived with trainer Angelo Marchione, a gentle and reserved man. Although never able to duplicate himself as a runner, he did throw a useful distance competitor, Tylers Ruff, whelped April of 1995. After Rastro Ricky passed, trainer Marchione left us way to soon three months later. In his honor, David Jeswald proudly attended the annual $5,000.00 Angelo Marchione Juvenile Stakes held at Lincoln until its closure in 2009.
David Jeswald doesn’t own dogs any more but as he continues handicapping greyhounds, Rastro Ricky is never far from his thoughts. Carrie Scitern holds down the fort caring for broods, puppies, and also former Caldwell, Texas, mayor Billy Broaddus who is now in his late 80’s. Buddy, often away on business or serving as a judge for USA Boxing, officiating amateur and professional matches, doesn’t have much time for golf anymore. However, he’s happy his fondness for fairways continues through sons Carson, who won the Best in the West Classic in San Angelo at age 15, and Cameron, winner of the Starburst Jr. Classic at age 16. Cameron, an alumni of Tennessee State University, started four years on the golf team and served as captain for three. Now, club pro at the Devine Golf Course, he looks forward to restoring the course to its previous glory and placing it back on the map. Cameron believes Devine has really good talented players and to get them through the doors regularly, he must think outside the box. A box he works to avoid is one that C & C Greyhound Farm graduates strive to break when they turn 18 months old. Just because Buddy and Carrie have downsized, don’t think their glory days have ended. After producing 77 stake winners including 8 track record holders, the results of their labor speaks volumes and continues with future litters. Honesty, a rare quality currently at a high premium, is what Buddy values most and C & C Greyhound Farm has no plans of going anywhere. Kinda like that rock two miles north of town.
We would like to thank Buddy Scitern and David Jeswald for speaking with us about their story and the wonderful Rastro Ricky. One of our main goals is to promote the greyhound industry. Do you work in it or know someone who does? Would you be interested in being featured in our blog or podcast? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.