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Jose Vitor Leme on record-smashing 95.75-point ride: 'Hard to explain'

Leme 97.75 Ride.png
Posted at 12:41 PM, Aug 02, 2021

We may never witness a bull ride like this again, and Professional Bull Rider television announcer Craig Hummer knew it.

"No score has been better in the history of the PBR. Soak it in," Hummer gushed moments after world champion Jose Vitor Leme exploded for a record-smashing score of 97.75 points aboard WooPaa in Tulsa.

Sports history was made Saturday evening in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) event at BOK Center. In a showdown of titans, reigning World Champion and current No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) faced off against No. 1-ranked bull Woopaa (Barker Bulls/Hookin’ W Ranch), covering the powerful bull for the highest-marked ride ever in the league’s 28-year history, scored 97.75 points.

The league’s previous high score was 96.5 points, achieved four times. Michael Gaffney (Albuquerque, New Mexico), the 1997 PBR World Champion, was the most recent to accomplish the feat, riding three-time YETI PBR World Champion Bull Little Yellow Jacket (Berger/Teague/Taupin) for 96.5 points in Nampa, Idaho, in 2004.

It was an explosive combination between rider and bull. For those not familiar with how they score it, judges grade the rider on control and the bull on style of movement, agility, and speed. The highest score achievable is 100. Leme matched the high-kicking Woopaa point for point.

"This is awesome, it's hard to explain," Leme I think it's one of the best days of my life or my career riding bulls. Thanks to all my friends for helping me, thanks to the fans. I don't know what special this arena has because J.B. (Mauney) rode Bushwacker here for 95.75 points and now I put name on the history, too."

Wade Leslie is said to be the only bull rider ever to score a perfect 100 and that was in 1991.

Sports history was made Saturday evening in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) event at BOK Center. In a showdown of titans, reigning World Champion and current No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) faced off against No. 1-ranked bull Woopaa (Barker Bulls/Hookin’ W Ranch), covering the powerful bull for the highest-marked ride ever in the league’s 28-year history, scored 97.75 points.

The league’s previous high score was 96.5 points, achieved four times. Michael Gaffney (Albuquerque, New Mexico), the 1997 PBR World Champion, was the most recent to accomplish the feat, riding three-time YETI PBR World Champion Bull Little Yellow Jacket (Berger/Teague/Taupin) for 96.5 points in Nampa, Idaho, in 2004.

In a nearly flawless display of athleticism, Leme was marked a near perfect 49.75 points, out of a possible 50 points, while Woopaa contributed 48 points, the 10th highest bull score in the league’s history.

The monstrous 90-point ride, Leme’s 16th of the season, also tied him with 1999 PBR World Champion Cody Hart (Gainesville, Texas) for most 90-point rides during one season. Hart recorded 16 en route to his gold buckle in 1999.

Leme had previously ridden Woopaa twice, both also scored in excess of 90 points. In November 2020, Leme clinched the World Championship aboard Woopaa inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, marked 95.75 points, while he most recently rode him this past February to win the Unleash The Beast event in Fort Worth, Texas, courtesy of a 94.75-point effort.

Leme, who in 2021 is attempting to become just the second back-to-back world champion, led the PBR world standings by a season-best 410.5 points after Saturday's ride.

(Editor's note: PBR media contributed to this story)