Jose Vitor Leme clinches 2020 PBR World Championship
ARLINGTON, Texas – On the biggest stage in professional bull riding, Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardon, Brazil) clinched the 2020 PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Championship inside AT&T Stadium Saturday night with one of the biggest rides in PBR World Finals history, putting a giant exclamation point on his season for the ages.
He delivered a 95.75-point score during the final out of the night, the highest-marked ride of his career, to win the third round of the 2020 PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast, securing the coveted gold buckle and $1 million Monster Energy World Champion bonus.
Facing top-ranked ABBI (American Bucking Bull Inc.) Classic bull Woopaa (Barker Bucking Bulls), Leme was in picture perfect form as he matched the powerful bovine athlete jump-for-jump, reaching the requisite eight for his gargantuan score.
“It’s hard to explain this moment – the best moment of my career,” Leme said from center stage in AT&T Stadium. “I worked a long time, and I came to show to everybody I deserved this. I’m so blessed to enjoy this.”
The round win allowed Leme to clinch the season’s PBR World Championship as he expanded his lead over third-ranked Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil) to 788.5 points with only 760 points remaining to be won on the final day of competition for the 2020 season.
The high-marked ride of the phenom’s career also tied for the fourth-highest scored ride ever recorded at a PBR World Finals and made Leme the front-runner for the 2020 Lane Frost/Brent Thurman Award, presented to the rider with the high-marked score at each PBR World Finals.
Leme has now won a PBR best 16 rounds in 2020, while going a torrid 44-for-63 throughout 2020 on the elite Unleash The Beast for a 69.84 percent riding average on the world’s rankest bovine athletes.
In the league’s 27-year history, Leme is the 19th different rider – and seventh Brazilian – to claim the PBR World Champion gold buckle. His title is the eleventh time a rider from the nation of Brazil has won what’s been called the most difficult individual championship in professional sports.
Adding to the significance of Leme’s title-clinching ride, he is second in the 2020 PBR World Finals event aggregate. Leme’s match-up with Woopaa, solidified a world title for both the bull rider and bovine athlete. Woopaa bucked to both the 2020 ABBI Classic World Championship and the 2020 ABBI Classic Bull of the Finals title courtesy of his monstrous out, netting a collective $150,000 in bonuses.
Meanwhile, 2018 ABBI Futurity World Champion Ridin Solo (Cord McCoy/Steve Best) placed second in both the World Finals and World Champion race to earn two $40,000 bonuses to compliment his reserve champion titles. Hank (Halpain/Martinelli) rounded out the top three classic bulls in the World Finals event, while Top Shelf (OK Corralis/Gordon/D&H Cattle) landed a third-place finish in the World Champion race.