(Editor's note: PBR media release by Justin Felisko)
ANAHEIM, Calif. – The ultimate goal for Jose Vitor Leme – the new No. 1-ranked bull rider in the world – is obviously a gold buckle.
Still, Leme hopes to add his name to the PBR record books in more than one way this season once the 2019 PBR World Finals roll around on Nov. 6-10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Leme’s event-winning 90.5-point ride aboard Rising Sun Saturday night during the Anaheim Invitational was his 10th 90-point ride on the Unleash The Beast this season.
The 23-year-old is now seven 90-point rides away from breaking Cody Hart’s PBR premier series record.
Hart posted 16 90-point rides during his 1999 World Championship season.
“I have thought about it,” Leme said with the help of Paulo Crimber translating. “It is going to be amazing if I can. I have always thought that I want to put up a lot of 90s and round wins. To do that, it would be great. Because I want to remembered in the history of the PBR. I want to my name in the PBR’s history books. This is what I work for and this is going to be amazing if I can do it. I think I can do it.”
Leme’s 10 90-point rides on the Unleash The Beast are tied for the 15th-most all time, but he still has five regular-season events, as well as six rounds at the World Finals, to pick up seven more 90-point rides.
The UTB heads to Springfield, Missouri, next weekend for a 15/15 Bucking Battle and a three-day bull riding at the PFIWestern.com Invitational.
Leme won every round of competition in Anaheim this weekend, and he has ridden seven consecutive bulls at all levels of competition. He brings a 451.66-point lead on No. 2 Jess Lockwood into Springfield.
The 2017 PBR World Finals event winner is the first rider to reach double-digit 90-point rides in a season since Robson Palermo posted 10 in 2011.
Two-time World Champion Justin McBride said last week that Leme certainly has a shot at breaking Hart’s record.
“He has the potential to be 90 six times at the Finals,” McBride said. “Hell, if he draws the right bull, he will be right at 90 every round.”
In fact, Leme has 15 90-point rides at all levels of competition, and he also has another 90-point ride if you count his 91-point effort on Rising Sun during Chad Berger’s $125,000 Team Challenge, presented by Marquis Metal Works, this past June in Bismarck, North Dakota.
Leme explained that Rising Sun felt more difficult Saturday night at the Honda Center, though.
“Rising Sun kind of surprised me today,” Leme said. “When I rode him in Bismarck, he felt a little easier. Tonight he was harder, and I thought he was putting more out there. I didn’t even spur him. I was just trying to get that ride safe and guarantee first place.
“He is a great bull. He is an awesome bull. I have won so much money on his back. Every time I get a chance to pick him, I will pick him. He always gets me 90-plus. You can’t ask for a better one. A black muley that turns back into your hand and you can be 90. That is all you need.”