(Editor's note: PBR release)
LAS VEGAS – Rewriting yet another league record Saturday evening inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, reigning PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Champion Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) delivered his 22nd 90-point ride of the season to win Round 4 of the PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast, furthering his stronghold on the No. 1 ranking in the world standings and inching closer to his second consecutive gold buckle.
As the last man to erupt from the chutes in front of the raucous Sin City crowd, Leme readied to face a rematch in WSM’s Jive Turkey (WSM Auctioneers/Clay Struve/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger). While Leme covered the bovine athlete in their first two meetings, marked 89.5 points during the 2020 PBR Global Cup USA and 89.75 points during the 15/15 Bucking Battle in St. Louis, Missouri, later that season, the poised Brazilian was bested in a hard-fought 7.29 seconds during their most recent showdown at the 2020 premier series event in Deadwood, South Dakota.
Avenging the bitter buckoff, Leme matched the striking animal athlete jump-for-jump atop the glittering dirt, celebrating from atop the arena fence as his monstrous 92.5-point, round-winning score was announced.
Not only did the score mark Leme’s league-leading and record-setting 22nd of the season, but the round win was his 20th of 2021. The Round 4 victory allowed Leme to take sole possession of the PBR’s season record for most round wins, dethroning J.B. Mauney (Statesville, North Carolina), who won 19 rounds in 2013 en route to his first gold buckle.
Leme’s ride earned him a $35,000 payday, along with a critical 89 world points.
After beginning the day 518 points out front, Leme will begin Championship Sunday with a 591-point lead.
“I have to ride my bulls and finish in a good position,” Leme said. “I have to finish strong to win the world title.”
Chasing further history, should Leme repeat as the PBR World Champion, he would become just the second rider to win the coveted gold buckle in consecutive seasons. To date, three-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves (Pilar do Sul, Brazil) is the lone rider to achieve the feat, winning his first two titles in 2011 and 2012. Leme would also become just the seventh multi-time PBR World Champion in league history.
Leme is now just one of two riders to have gone a perfect 4-for-4 thus far at the 2021 PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast. He is second in the aggregate, just 2.25 points behind the event leader.
If Leme were to win the 2021 PBR World Finals, he would become just the fourth rider in history to win the grueling multi-day event against the world’s best bulls multiple times. To date, Troy Dunn (1995 and 1997), Mauney (2009 and 2013) and Robson Palermo (2008, 2011 and 2012) are the lone riders to achieve the feat. Leme won the World Finals event in 2017 just days after setting foot on American soil for the first time.
Further, the event victory would mark Leme’s eighth of the season, tying him with two-time PBR World Champion Justin McBride (Whitesboro, Texas) for most event wins in a season. McBride won eight events en route to his second world title in 2007.
While Leme may have extended his lead in the world standings, 2018 PBR World Champion and current No. 2 Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) kept his hopes of a second World Championship alive courtesy of a 10th-place finish in Round 4.
Pacheco became just the second rider in 40 attempts across all levels of competition to cover Capone (Paradigm Bull Co./Martinez) when he reached the requisite 8 for 87.75 points. The qualified ride netted him 16 world points.
On the event leaderboard, Pacheco, who has gone 3-for-4 at the sport’s most prestigious event, is now tied for fourth. He trails the top spot by 86.75 points.
In the race for the PBR World Finals event win, Mason Taylor (Maypearl, Texas) remained in firm control of the top ranking as he delivered his fourth consecutive qualified ride Saturday evening.
Riding with his jaw wired shut, Taylor continued to epitomize the cowboy spirit as he rode I’m A Secret (K-C Bucking Bulls/Bull Creek Bucking Bulls) for 88.5 points to tie for seventh in Round 4.
Taylor exited T-Mobile Arena having collected an additional 24 world points, gaining two positions in the world standings as he rose from No. 23 to No. 21.
“I guess I was tired of falling off and losing,“ Taylor said of his resurgence at the year-end event. “People hollering and screaming for me is the best feeling in the world. I’m trying not to get too excited. When you have guys like Jose breathing down your neck, you have to take it one bull at a time.”
In the feverish battle for the 2021 PBR Rookie of the Year honor, Eli Vastbinder (Statesville, North Carolina) continued to gain ground in the race amongst first year contenders on the league’s elite tour.
While he maintained his No. 3 rank, Vastbinder closed within 50.5 points of No. 1 Junior Patrik Souza (Sonora, Brazil) compliments of his 90-point ride on Juju (Tommy Julian/D&H Cattle), which placed him fifth in the round and netted him 37 world points.
The 90-point ride was Vastbinder’s third of the 2021 PBR World Finals and second he registered while competing with a separated right (riding arm) shoulder and multiple broken ribs.
Souza responded with a qualified ride of his own, making the 8 aboard Outlaw (Cord McCoy/Big Sky Bulls, LLC) for 81.75 points. However, he sustained an apparent femur fracture when he was stepped on following his get off.
Round 4 of the 2021 PBR World Finals also concluded the ABBI (American Bucking Bull Inc.) World Finals Classic Event where nearly $500,000 was paid out.
34E Juju was crowned the 2021 ABBI Classic World Champion, receiving $100,000 for his feat. He concluded the season with an impressive 727.2-point total from his Top 6 regular-season outs and two trips at the Finals to win the title by 4.65 points.
705E Manaba (Joe & Nina Webb/Julian/D&H Cattle Co.) was the 2021 ABBI World Finals Classic Reserve Champion, earning a $50,000 bonus, and 703 Mike’s Magic (Five Star Ranch/BS Cattle) finished third in the ABBI Classic World Champion race.
6E Liston (D&H Cattle) was anointed the 2021 ABBI Finals Classic Champion, collecting a $100,000 payday of his own. Liston clinched the title courtesy of his 89.2-point effort in Round 1 of the PBR World Finals, followed by his 91.8-point trip in Round 4.
Three-year-old bull -167 Black Cherry (Cord McCoy/ProVantage Animal Health) produced an average of 179.6 points to earn the ABBI Classic Finals Reserve Champion title and $50,000 bonus, while 703 Mike’s Magic also landed a third-place finish in the ABBI Classic Event race for an additional $35,000.
The 2020 PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast continues with Round 5 and the Championship Round on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 9:40 a.m. PDT.
A field of 32 riders will advance to Round 5 on Championship Sunday. All riders who recorded a score in the previous rounds have advanced.
Following Round 5, the scores from the five rides will be combined, and the Top 12 riders will advance for an additional round of competition. Following the conclusion of the championship round, the league will crown the PBR World Champion, who will receive a $1 million bonus, the World Finals Event winner, who will receive a $300,000 bonus, and more.
PBR RidePass on PlutoTV will offer re-airs and on-demand replays of every PBR Unleash The Beast event. PBR RidePass is available on desktops, laptops and mobile devices via www.pluto.tv [pluto.tv]. Tune to channel 720 for the latest programming schedule, and click here [pluto.tv] for on-demand PBR programming.
PBR Unleash The BeastPBR World Finals: Unleash The BeastT-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, NevadaEvent Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Round 4-Round 5-Round 6-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Mason Taylor, 89.5-87.75-90.5-88.5-0-0-356.25-129 Points.
2. Jose Vitor Leme, 86.75-88-86.75-92.5-0-0-354.00-151 Points.
3. Eli Vastbinder, 91-0-90-90-0-0-271.00-167 Points.
4. Kaique Pacheco, 90.5-0-91.25-87.75-0-0-269.50-150 Points.
(tie). Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-88.25-89-92.25-0-0-269.50-93 Points.
6. Cody Teel, 85.5-91.75-0-87-0-0-264.25-83 Points.
7. Silvano Alves, 0-85.75-86.25-88.5-0-0-260.50-45.5 Points.
8. Junior Patrik Souza, 84.75-0-87.75-81.75-0-0-254.25-40 Points.
9. Cooper Davis, 90.75-0-89.25-0-0-0-180.00-75 Points.
10. Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-89.5-90.25-0-0-179.75-73 Points.
11. Marco Eguchi, 0-0-88.25-91-0-0-179.25-58 Points.
12. Dener Barbosa, 0-89.25-89.75-0-0-0-179.00-74 Points.
13. João Ricardo Vieira, 0-89.25-89.25-0-0-0-178.50-64 Points.
14. Chase Dougherty, 88-89.25-0-0-0-0-177.25-74 Points.
15. Claudio Montanha Jr., 86.5-0-0-87.25-0-0-173.75-39.5 Points.
16. Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 0-84.25-86.25-0-0-0-170.50-20.5 Points.
17. João Henrique Lucas, 0-0-85-84.75-0-0-169.75-17 Points.
18. Alvaro Aguilar Alvarez, 0-92-0-0-0-0-92.00-89 Points.
19. Lane Nobles, 0-0-90.25-0-0-0-90.25-45 Points.
20. Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 0-89.25-0-0-0-0-89.25-38 Points.
21. Adriano Salgado, 0-89-0-0-0-0-89.00-28 Points.
(tie). Fernando Henrique Novais, 0-0-0-89-0-0-89.00-32 Points.
23. Andrew Alvidrez, 0-0-88.75-0-0-0-88.75-16 Points.
24. Cody Jesus, 0-0-0-88.5-0-0-88.50-24 Points.
25. Lucas Divino, 0-0-0-87.5-0-0-87.50-13 Points.
26. Cody Nance, 0-0-0-87.25-0-0-87.25-11.5 Points.
27. Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-87-0-0-0-87.00-11 Points.
28. Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-85.5-0-0-0-85.50-8 Points.
29. Paulo Ferreira Lima, 0-0-84.75-0-0-0-84.75-8 Points.
30. Dalton Kasel, 0-0-84.5-0-0-0-84.50-8 Points.
31. Manoelito de Souza Junior, 82-0-0-0-0-0-82.00-16 Points.
32. Boudreaux Campbell, 78.75-0-0-0-0-0-78.75-5 Points.
Keyshawn Whitehorse, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Jesse Petri, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Eduardo Aparecido, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Austin Richardson, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Cole Melancon, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Conner Halverson, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Thiago Salgado, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Grayson Cole, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Leonardo Lima, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Dalton Rudman, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00