Wayne started competing in local rodeos while still in high school. He graduated from Burwell High School in 1953. After high school, he continue roping, speculating and training rope horses.
Wayne married Maxine (Ackles) Mattern in 1955. They lived in Chambers and O’Neill, NE until moving to Ord in 1961. In 1966, they purchased their first place just orth of Ord. Wayne was engaged in cattle and raising quarter horses and stood stallions to the public from approximately 1960 to the present time. To date, Wayne has owned 47 stallions and still stands three. Wayne has sold horses throughout the United States and Canada. At present, Wayne is retired but still raises a few horses 2 ½ miles south of Ainsworth, NE where Wayne and his moved to in 1998.
Wayne’s knowledge and years of experience with horse breeding and training are verified by the horses he has produced and trained. The performance of these horses in rodeo competition further verifies Wayne’s expertise as a producer of top-of-the-line horses. Wayne has proven himself as a champion rodeo cowboy.
Wayne is a thoughtful man who often shares his knowledge of horses and roping skills with young cowboys. He is a modest person and if he were to give the complete story of his experience and accomplishments as a cowboy, it would require many pages for his biography and awards. Wayne has served as the calf roping director for the Nebraska State Rodeo Association, received the top honor of Nebraska State Open Champion Calf Roper in 1973 and owned the 1983 AQHA High Point Halter Champion Stallion. Wayne was honored to have owned and trained two rope horses that went to the PRCA National Finals in calf roping, ridden by Lee Cockrell of Pampa, TX and Chris Lybbert of Argile, TX.
Wayne has met the definition of a cowboy. He has not made a practice of herding cattle behind a windshield with the heater going in the winter and the air conditioner in the summer. He exemplifies the horsemen and cattlemen that have made the Sandhills what they are today. He has not given way to the modern cowboy’s horse of this day with the four-wheeler COW-wa-soki. Wayne’s heritage deeply engrains the cowboy of the Sandhills staring with his father Don Mattern, his great-grandfather Erastus Burgess, his grandfather Harry Burgess, his great uncle Bert Burgess and uncles Ed, Bernard, Billie and Bob Burgess.