OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – In front of a record-setting crowd inside Chesapeake Energy Arena, Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) captured his second consecutive 2020 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Unleash The Beast event victory, winning the Express Ranches Invitational in Oklahoma City.
Fresh off his first win of the new season in Sacramento, California, Leme began his march to the top of the Can-Am Cage with an 85.75-point ride aboard Smooth Over (Hart Cattle/GT Bucking Bulls) in Round 1 on Friday night.
The Brazilian phenom then began his Saturday night campaign in electric fashion.
Tying for the Round 2 win via his 88.75-point effort aboard Boogie Bomb (Bland Bucking Bulls), Leme entered the championship round second in the aggregate.
Drafting Bullseye (Owens/Wyatt/Smith/Mears), Leme architected a matchup that would yield what is now tied for the second highest score on the premier series thus far in 2020.
The penultimate man to leave the chutes inside the home of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, Leme brought the raucous crowd to its feet when he reached the 8 to win the championship round, earning a monstrous 92-point score.
Leme now leads the league in both round wins (six) and 90-point rides (four).
Amidst a six-out ride streak, Leme left the Sooner State with a check for $39,351.67 along with 120.5 world points.
After overtaking the world No. 1 ranking following his fourth-place finish in Round 1, Leme further extended his position atop the standings courtesy of the event win. He now leads No. 2 Jess Lockwood (Volborg, Montana) by 81 points.
As the only other rider to go a perfect 3-for-3, Ramon de Lima (Rio Branco, Brazil) finished a season-high second.
After riding Dunnam 630 (Dunnam Bull Co./Bob & Jeri Adams) for 85.75 points in Round 1, and Hammerhead Blu (CG Bucking Bulls/Groundshakers Team) for an 81-point score in Round 2, Lima punched his ticket to his second premier series championship round of the year.
The Team Brazil rider for the upcoming 2020 WinStar World Casino and Resort PBR Global Cup USA, presented by Monster Energy, then completed his flawless weekend with an 88.75-point trip on Lil 2 Train (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) in the final round.
As a result of the $17,975, runner-up finish, Lima, who was set to contend with the Unleash The Beast cutline following the Express Ranches Invitational, gained crucial ground in the world standings.
Netting 67.5 points, Lima is now firmly ranked inside the Top 35, rising from No. 66 to No. 17 in the world.
Two-time and reigning PBR World Champion Lockwood was third at the 20th premier series event in Oklahoma City.
The 22-year-old began the event with an 87.75-point ride on Lockdown (Cleve Garvey/DD Bucking Bulls) in Round 1, followed by an 88.75-point effort atop Buddy’s Pet (Rockin R Bucking Bulls) to tie for the Round 2 win.
The two 8-second efforts catapulted Lockwood to the top of the event leaderboard, garnering him first pick in the championship round draft.
Lockwood selected Safety Meeting (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Hruby/Kainz), but the bovine athlete stumbled upon leaving the chutes, earning Lockwood a re-ride. The second chance, however, did not yield a score for Lockwood, bucked off by Old Fort Days (K-C Bucking Bulls/Spark-lin Acres) in a heartbreaking 6.6 seconds.
Lockwood’s 2-for-3 showing propelled him to a $13,551.67 payday, in addition to garnering him 58.5 world points.
Rising one position in the world standings to No. 2, Lockwood is now 81 points behind the top ranking.
Veteran rider Fabiano Vieira (Perola, Brazil) finished fourth to gain considerable ground in the world rankings. Earning $7,375 and 33 world points, the 37-year-old is now ranked No. 12 after beginning the elite tour stop No. 22.
The 2016 Oklahoma City event winner’s Top 5 performance was highlighted by an 87.75-point ride on Hot Spots (Shuler Bucking Bulls) in Round 1, and an 84.75-point score atop Lefty (Bill Henson/Gene Owen) in Round 2.
Rounding out the Top 5 was Derek Kolbaba (Walla Walla, Washington).
The Washingtonian rode Spindletop (Aim Straight Cattle/Donaho) for 85.25 points in Round 1, and Sugar Boom Boom (Bland Bucking Bulls) for 84.75 points in Round 2 to record his third Top-10 finish of the year.
Kolbaba left Chesapeake Energy Arena with $4,350 and 24.5 world points, rising from No. 12 to No. 9 in the world.
Set to retire at the conclusion of the 2020 season, two-time defending Oklahoma City event winner Ryan Dirteater (Hulbert, Oklahoma) finished 12th. His finish, which earned him $1,400 and six world points, was headlined by an 85.5-point effort on Midnight Rock (Cord McCoy/Shotgun Bulls) in Round 1.
In the bull pen, Hocus Pocus (D&H Cattle/Barthold/Almand) earned his first YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event honors. Dispatching Kolbaba in a swift 2.06 seconds in the championship round, the bovine athlete was marked a dominant 46 points.
Fans can relive all the action from the Express Ranches Invitational, Sunday, February 2, starting at 8:00 a.m. EST on RidePass.com or via the RidePass mobile app.
CBS Sports will air the championship round from Oklahoma City at 12:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, February 2, while CBS Sports Network will broadcast Round 2 and the championship round at 4:00 p.m. EST.
The PBR Unleash the Beast next travels to Los Angeles, California, and STAPLES Center for the second Major of the season, the PBR Iron Cowboy, presented by Ariat. The event will be on Friday, February 7 at 7:45 p.m. PST, and Saturday, February 8 at 6:45 p.m. PST.
Elsewhere in the PBR, the Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour held events in both Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Knoxville, Tennessee.
In front of a sold-out crowd at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Joseph McConnel (Bloomfield, New Mexico) won the first Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event of his career at the Grand Rapids Classic.
On a night where the bulls prevailed, McConnel was the only rider to record a qualified ride in the championship round, and one of only 10 to make the 8 in Round 1.
In the opening round, McConnel fired out of the chutes aboard Hitman (C Check Bucking Bulls) to record an 83.5-point score as the crowd cheered and he secured his place on the leaderboard. In the championship round, the young New Mexico cowboy bested Peep Show (Cornwell Bucking Bulls) for 85 points.
He leaves Michigan with $8,000 and 38.33 world points.
In addition to winning the Grand Rapids Classic, McConnel has also earned an invite to PBR’s upcoming Unleash The Beast U.S. Border Patrol Invitational at Enterprise Center in St Louis, Missouri, on February 22-23.
At the record-setting Knoxville Invitational inside Thompson-Boling Arena, Joao Henrique Lucas (Bastos, Brazil) captured his first Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour event win as one of six riders to go a perfect 2-for-2.
Riding Big John (Rio Vista Rodeo & Equipment/Sho-Me Rodeo) for 87.5 points in Round 1, the Brazilian remained perfect when he reached the 8 aboard Gambler (Rio Vista Rodeo & Equipment/Sho-Me Rodeo) for 85.5 points in the championship round.
Lucas’ dominant performance in the Volunteer State propelled him to a $6,250 payday, and additionally garnered him 36.5 world points. He also earned an invite to the elite PBR Unleash The Beast. He will make his premier series debut in Los Angeles on February 7-8 for the PBR Iron Cowboy, presented by Ariat, Major.
PBR Unleash The Beast
Express Ranches Invitational
Chesapeake Energy Arena – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
(Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Jose Vitor Leme, 85.75-88.75-92-266.50-120.5 Points.
2. Ramon de Lima, 85.75-81-88.75-255.50-67.5 Points.
3. Jess Lockwood, 87.75-88.75-0-176.50-58.5 Points.
4. Fabiano Vieira, 87.75-84.75-0-172.50-33 Points.
5. Derek Kolbaba, 85.25-84.75-0-170.00-24.5 Points.
6. Brennon Eldred, 88.5-0-0-88.50-24 Points.
7. Dener Barbosa, 83-0-81-164.00-22 Points.
8. Kaique Pacheco, 0-88.75-0-88.75-18 Points.
9. Silvano Alves, 74.5-86-0-160.50-11.5 Points.
10. Cody Teel, 0-87.25-0-87.25-10 Points.
11. Gage Gay, 0-86.75-0-86.75-8 Points.
12. Ryan Dirteater, 85.5-0-0-85.50-6 Points.
13. Nathan Burtenshaw, 0-86-0-86.00-5.5 Points.
14. Eduardo Aparecido, 85-0-0-85.00-4 Points.
(tie). Aaron Kleier, 0-85-0-85.00-4 Points.
16. Junio Quaresima, 84.5-0-0-84.50-3 Points.
17. Cannon Cravens, 83.25-0-0-83.25-2 Points.
18. Stetson Lawrence, 0-82.75-0-82.75-1 Points.
19. João Ricardo Vieira, 75.75-0-0-75.75
Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-0-0.00
Colten Jesse, 0-0-0-0.00
Mason Taylor, 0-0-0-0.00
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Buttar, 0-0-0-0.00
Marco Eguchi, 0-0-0-0.00
Matt Triplett, 0-0-0-0.00
Bradley Brittain, 0-0-0-0.00
Brady Sims, 0-0-0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-0-0.00
Taylor Toves, 0-0-0-0.00
Alisson De Souza, 0-0-0-0.00
Dylan Smith, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Jesus, 0-0-0-0.00
Leandro Machado, 0-0-0-0.00
Luciano De Castro, 0-0-0-0.00
Scottie Knapp, 0-0-0-0.00
PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour
Grand Rapids Classic
Van Andel Arena – Grand Rapids, Michigan
(Round 1-Round 2-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Joseph McConnel, 83.5-85-168.50-38.33 Points.
2. Venn Johns, 88.5-0-88.50-27 Points.
3. Devon Weaver, 87.5-0-87.50-14 Points.
4. Marcus Mast, 84-0-84.00-9 Points.
5. Kyle Jones, 83.5-0-83.50-4.83 Points.
(tie). Hunter Ball, 83.5-0-83.50-4.83 Points.
7. Lamar Lehman, 83-0-83.00-3 Points.
8. Jake Lockwood, 82.5-0-82.50
9. Devin Hager, 80-0-80.00
10. Weston Hartman, 77.5-0-77.50