Wayne Whitehead was born on June 8, 1952 in Gatesville,Texas. His parents moved to Mesquite, Texas in 1954. His Dad owned a barbershop in Mesquite that was across the street from Millers Cafe where the cowboys came to eat when they came to the Mesquite Rodeo. Many of the cowboys would come over to the barbershop for haircuts and to get their boots shined.
There were always copies of the Rodeo Sports News and Western Horseman in the barbershop. Many became lifelong friends of the Whitehead family. The Whitehead family were regular attendees at the rodeo for many years.
Wayne’s childhood heroes were Jim Shoulders, Freddie Greer and Les Hood, his Dad’s first cousin. Les worked all 5 events and was an Inductee into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in the early 70’s when it was located in Belton, Texas.
Wayne got on hist first bucking stock when he was about 6 years old at his maternal grandfather’s farm in Blooming Grove, Texas. His Grandfather raised crossbred Brahman cattle. He also rode many a mile on an old saddle strapped to the gas barrel.
Wayne entered his first rodeo in 1964 at the first Mesquite Championship Rodeo Junior Rodeo. There were 140 steer riders entered and 3 places were to be awarded. Wayne won third place.
Wayne got on his first big bulls in the winter of 1969 at Mansfield, Texas, Kowbell Arena in the winter of 1969. In his rodeo days Wayne rode bulls, a few bareback horses, calf roped and team roped. Although he never won a lot he liked to enter and travel. He entered rodeos in 42 states. He was able to go to a lot of rodeos all over the country by making bull ropes and selling bull riding spur rowels.