William Joe Wimberly, Jr., was born to Wanda Dickson and William Joe Wimberly, Sr., in Montgomery, Alabama, on September 16, 1961. Joe was raised around cattle and horses all of his life. He remembers going to sale barns with his father, who educated him about the livestock being sold.
Joe always wanted to be a cowboy, he says he never wanted to be anything else. He competed in playdays in his younger years, and, began competing in rodeos around 1970. He won his first belt buckle in 1974, and, began his pursuit of the dream. He won the Southeastern Circuit Bull Riding title in 1984, and competed in his first National Finals that same year (ten years after his first buckle).
Joe moved to Mesquite, Texas, in 1985, and, then, established himself in Cool, Texas, by buying some land with rodeo winnings, building a house, a bunkhouse, arena, and pens, and started raising his family; Joe has three children; Casey Jo, Sami, and McKennon.
Rodeo was good for Joe, and Joe has proven to be good for rodeo. He competed in four (4) Texas Circuit Finals Rodeos and a total of five (5) National Finals Rodeos (1984, 1987, 1988, 1989 & 1990). He won multiple rounds of the bull riding competition during those NFR performances. The major rodeos that Joe has won include: Cheyenne Frontier Days 1984, Calgary Stampede 1986, Pecos, Texas 1987, and Pendleton Round-Up 1990.
In 1992, Joe rode the bounty bull, Dodge Dakota, at Mesquite, Texas, for a bounty of $17,000.00. The publicity for that ride was far-reaching, and resulted in it being featured in the October 1994 issue of Readers Digest magazine. Joe’s notoriety continued to attract attention to the cowboy way of life when he portrayed himself in the 1997 movie, “Bull Riders: Chasing the Dream” (which was filmed at Wimberly Arena in Cool, Texas), and, Joe’s story was told in the book, “Biting the Dust”, by Dirk Johnson.
Joe has taught hundreds to ride at the Joe Wimberly Bull Riding schools, including his son, McKennon Wimberly. Joe and McKennon were able to travel together, and compete against each other, during the beginning of McKennon’s professional rodeo career.
Joe lives the western lifestyle and the cowboy dream. He is dedicated to western heritage, instilling cowboy values, and exemplifying the cowboy way of life in everything he does. He is involved in ranchwork, training horses, trimming and shoeing, working with the Stockyards Championship Rodeo, preserving bucking bull bloodlines in his breeding program, teaching people to ride, helping whenever anyone asks, opening his home to cowboys who need a place to stay for awhile, working sales and auctions, judging rodeos and bull ridings- Joe is a prime example of the American Cowboy, and will be until his last day on this earth.