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Jose Vitor Leme wins PBR Wrangler Invitational

Jose Vitor Leme PBR Wrangler Invitational.png
Posted at 11:44 PM, May 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 01:45:14-04

(Editor's note: PBR media release)

BILLINGS - The last man out chalked up the weekend’s biggest ride.

Climbing into the bucking chutes as the final rider in the championship round on Sunday in Billings, Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) needed 90.25 points to win the event at First Interstate Arena.

As the last rider out, the reigning PBR World Champion promptly put up his second 90-point ride of the day – a massive 93.25-point trip – to win the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) premier series event in walk-off fashion.

The two massive Sunday afternoon rides capped a 3-for-4 weekend for Leme in Billings, giving the reigning PBR World Champion his third PBR Unleash the Beast (UTB) event win of the 2021 season and moving him to the world No. 1 position.

To begin his Sunday afternoon of the three-day PBR Unleash The Beast -Wrangler Invitational presented by Cooper Tires, Leme was paired with Hundred Bad Days (TNT Bucking Bulls/Hart Cattle Co), whom he had ridden twice before.

In his matchup with the jet black bovine earlier in 2021 in the opening round of Ft. Worth’s premier series event, Leme recorded a solid 91-point ride. This then prompted the Brazilian phenom to select the bull for the championship round in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in mid-April, where he collected a win after a 92.25-point ride.

As the only rider on the premier series to have conquered Hundred Bad Days in his first full year of competition, let alone twice for 90-pointers, Leme’s cool demeanor on the chutes conveyed his level of confidence.

After firing from the open gate like a freight train, Leme conquered Hundred Bad Days for a 91.25-point score, his 11th 90-point ride of the season, landing him atop the leaderboard as the day’s opening round ended.

For the last out of the event, Leme selected Diddy Wa Diddy (Cord McCoy/Bill McCarthy) in the championship round, a bull he had never been paired with before. Leme erupted from the chutes in complete control on the bull for a monster 93.25-point score, his 12th of the season, leading the PBR.

“I just try to do something different every time and be special for all the fans watching and put my name on the history of PBR,” said Leme. “I want to win again, and I thank God for all His glory.”

Leme, who was briefly dethroned from the No. 1 spot in the world standings after Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) took the lead upon finishing second in Saturday night’s 15/15 Bucking Battle, returned to his position as world leader. He is now 38.5 points ahead of Pacheco.

For his efforts, Leme earned a check for $38,030.49 in addition to 181 world points.

Pacheco and Leme engaged in a slugfest the final two rounds of the weekend, closing out Round 2 and Round 3 with qualified rides. On a weekend when the bulls were dominant, Pacheco went 3-for-4 to finish second.

After splitting the Round 2 win on Saturday night with Leme, the 2018 World Champion then went on to collect a second-place finish in the night’s 15/15 Bucking Battle. His impressive 91-point ride aboard Smooth Wreck (Diamond Willow/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) in the special round of competition temporarily catapulted him into the No. 1 spot in the world.

With world title race fever setting in, Pacheco confidently strode into Sunday ready to capitalize on his momentum.

Pacheco made the 8 aboard M.A.G.A. (TNT Bucking Bulls/ Hart Cattle Co.) in Sunday’s Round 3 for a cool 89.5 points and then went on to select Trail of Tears (MAGA Cattle/ Roper Angus/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger) for the championship round.

As the anticipation mounted on the final day in Billings, Pacheco launched from the chutes in complete control, collecting an 87.5-point score.

Despite being bested by Leme’s world-class championship round performance, Pacheco leaves Montana as the No. 2 rider in the world with 121 world points and $23,028. 92.

“The two (Pacheco and Leme) couldn’t be more different in every way except one – and that’s making the whistle,” said PBR on CBS color analyst and two-time PBR World Champion Justin McBride. “Pacheco is in total control, no wasted motion. Leme has a style where he’s in control, but he’s a wild man making big movements, and it catches a judge’s eye and makes it look like the bull is doing way more than he is at times. Leme is as exciting as anybody who’s ever come along in the PBR.”

Third place went to 2012 PRCA World Champion Cody Teel (College Station, Texas).

Teel entered championship Sunday as the overall event leader after impressive rides throughout both Friday and Saturday’s opening rounds, as well as an electrifying 15/15 Bucking Battle win courtesy of his 91.25-point ride aboard Ridin Solo (Cord McCoy/ Bill McCarthy).

Teel, the only rider to begin Sunday afternoon a perfect 3-for-3 on the weekend, started aboard Total Feeds Bushwacked (Ohl/ Herb/McDowell/ Comozzi) in Round 3 but was dispatched after a mere 2.9 seconds.

The talented young rider then chose Strange Cargo (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) as his championship round bull. Regaining his confidence, he sprang from the chutes and emerged victorious with his trademark Texas-sized smile as his ride score of 90.25 sent the crowd into a frenzy.

Teel’s 3-for-4 weekend earned him 95 world points and $18,160.31. He began the weekend at No. 18 in the world and has now launched to the No. 7 spot.

Rookie of the Year contender Chase Dougherty (Stephenville, Texas) came in fourth for the weekend after going 2-for-4 and having a fiery start to the weekend, winning Round 1.

Dougherty was paired with Theodore (Lari Crane/ Gene Owen) in Round 3 for an energetic 88-point ride. But he was then put on the chute clock and disqualified in the championship round when he lost his wrap and could not nod his head in time for his out aboard Carlier Cartel (X6 Ranch Bucking Bulls).

The young gun earned 73 world points and $14,676.55. Dougherty moved from No. 21 in the world at the event’s start to now hold the No. 16 position. He holds the No. 2 spot in the 2021 Rookie of the Year race, sitting 112 points behind Colten Fritzlan (Rifle, Colorado), who was out due to injury.

Rounding out the Top 5 of the weekend was three-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves (Pilar do Sul, Brazil) with a 2-for-4 performance.

The veteran Brazilian rider was matched with Spotted Snake (Weber Bucking Bulls) in Round 3, where he collected an 87.75-point score to secure his place in the championship round.

In the championship round, Alves selected Midnight Rock (Cord McCoy/Pioneer Bulls). He was no match for the powerful bovine, flung to the ground after just 3.07 seconds.

Despite his buckoff, Alves claimed the fifth-place position. He earned 57 world points and $10,439.21, moving up from No. 13 in the world to No. 9.

I’m Legit Too (Hart Cattle Co/ Hale) took home the “YETI Bull of the Event” honor. The energetic bovine bucked to a 46.25-point bull score when he launched Mauricio Gulla Moreira (Gaviao Peixoto, Brazil) to the ground during Saturday night’s 15/15 Bucking Battle in 6.88 seconds.

Another bovine celebrating a career milestone over the weekend was two-time PBR World Champion Bull Smooth Operator (Julie Rosen/ Clay Struve/ Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger). The legendary animal athlete marked his 100th premier series out when he competed in Saturday night’s 15/15. Paired with Dener Barbosa (Paulo de Faria, Brazil), the bull collected a 44-point bull score.

Fans can relive all the action from Montana on Monday, April 11 at 8 a.m. EDT at or via the RidePass mobile app.

The PBR Unleash The Beast next travels Jacksonville, Florida to the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena for the PBR Bad Boy Mowers Invitational, presented by Union Home Mortgage on Saturday, May 22 at 6:45 p.m. EDT and Sunday, May 23 at 1:45 p.m. EDT.

PBR Unleash The Beast - Wrangler Invitational presented by Cooper TiresFirst Interstate Arena at MetraPark -Billings, MontanaEvent Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)1. Jose Vitor Leme, 0-89.5-91.25-93.25-274.00-181 Points.2. Kaique Pacheco, 0-89.5-89.5-87.5-266.50-121 Points.3. Cody Teel, 85.5-86-0-90.25-261.75-95 Points.4. Chase Dougherty, 90.5-0-88-0-178.50-73 Points.5. Silvano Alves, 87.5-0-87.75-0-175.25-57 Points.6. Caic Cassio Carvalho, 0-87-86.5-0-173.50-50 Points.7. Luciano De Castro, 0-86.25-0-0-86.25-28 Points.8. João Henrique Lucas, 85.75-0-0-0-85.75-25 Points.9. Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 85-0-0-0-85.00-20 Points.10. J.T. Moore, 84.25-0-0-0-84.25-17 Points.11. Junior Patrik Souza, 0-83-0-0-83.00-16 Points.12. Leonardo Lima, 80.75-0-0-0-80.75-13 Points.13. Dener Barbosa, 76.75-0-0-0-76.75-4 Points.14. Paulo Ferreira Lima, 71.5-0-0-0-71.50-3 Points.15. Alex Cerqueira, 68.75-0-0-0-68.75-2 Points.Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0-0.00Marco Eguchi, 0-0-0-0-0.00Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 0-0-0-0-0.00Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0-0-0-0.00Boudreaux Campbell, 0-0-0-0-0.00Taylor Toves, 0-0-0-0-0.00Cody Nance, 0-0-0-0-0.00Jess Lockwood, 0-0-0-0-0.00Austin Richardson, 0-0-0-0-0.00Eli Vastbinder, 0-0-0-0-0.00Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-0-0-0.00Jesse Petri, 0-0-0-0-0.00Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0-0.00Brennon Eldred, 0-0-0-0-0.00Kyle Jones, 0-0-0-0-0.00Hunter Ball, 0-0-0-0-0.00Rodrigo Melgar, 0-0-0-0-0.00Andrew Alvidrez, 0-0-0-0-0.00Dakota Louis, 0-0-0-0-0.00Manoelito de Souza Junior, 0-0-0-0-0.00Logan Biever, 0-0-0-0-0.00Hunter Kelly, 0-0-0-0-0.00Cole Skender, 0-0-0-0-0.00Wyatt Rogers, 0-0-0-0-0.00