LAS VEGAS –Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil), who singlehandedly rewrote the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) record books in 2021, put a giant exclamation point on the greatest single season in league history Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas. Conquering the year’s YETI World Champion Bull with the highest-marked ride of all time, Leme won the 2021 PBR World Championship and PBR World Finals event title.
Shattering the league’s all-time high-marked ride record, Leme covered Woopaa (Barker Bulls/Hookin’ W Ranch) for a monstrous 98.75 points en route to again being anointed the PBR World Champion, becoming just the second back-to-back titleholder in league history.
Leme, who went a perfect 6-for-6 at the 2021 PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast, set or tied five major PBR records this year: most round wins in a season (21); most 90-point rides in a season (24); first perfect 50-point rider score; highest-marked qualified ride of all time (98.75 points); and most event wins in a season (tied with 8).
Entering T-Mobile Arena on Sunday for the final day of the season, Leme registered his fifth qualified ride at the sport’s most prestigious event when he bested WSM’s Jive Turkey (WSM Auctioneers/Clay Struve/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger) for the fourth time in his career, this time marked 91.25 points.
Leme’s 23rd 90-point ride of the season elevated him to the event lead, architecting a rematch with the renowned bovine athlete Woopaa, one of the sport’s greatest rivalries.
Leme had clinched the 2020 PBR World Championship aboard the bull, and set the previous league record for highest score ever when the two had teamed for a seemingly unsurpassable 2021 Mason Lowe Award-winning 97.75-point trip this July in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
At the time, the score shattered the previous high-score record of 96.5 points, achieved four times, most recently by 1997 PBR World Champion Michael Gaffney (Albuquerque, New Mexico) aboard three-time YETI PBR World Champion Bull Little Yellow Jacket (Berger/Teague/Taupin) in Nampa, Idaho, in 2004.
The best, however, was yet to come as the two titans went head-to-head atop the glittering Sin City dirt in the championship round of the final PBR World Finals in Las Vegas.
Competing in the face of his nagging groin and abdominal injury that was aggravated during his Round 5 ride, Leme composed himself and climbed aboard Woopaa with steel-like focus.
The chute gates burst open, and in picture-perfect form, Leme matched Woopaa jump-for-jump en route to the 8-second whistle, leading to raucous applause from the crowd of more than 13,000, and cowboy hats zinging into the arena from all directions.
The celebration dirtside only escalated as Leme’s historic 2021 Lane Frost/Brent Thurman Award-winning score was announced – 98.75 points.
For the second time this season, Leme broke the league’s ride score record and became the first rider to earn a perfect 50-point score. Woopaa contributed a record-setting 48.75 points of his own, which is now the highest score in league history to be delivered by a bull that was ridden for the requisite 8 seconds.
The 90-point score was Leme’s unprecedented 24th of the season. Covering 49 bulls throughout 2021, 48.97% of those qualified rides were for 90 points or more.
The impressive total obliterated the previous league record for most 90-point rides in a season, which was held by 1999 PBR World Champion Cody Hart (Gainesville, Texas), who logged 16 en route to the gold buckle.
Leme is now just the second back-to-back PBR World Champion in league history, joining three-time PBR World Champion Silvano Alves (Pilar do Sul, Brazil), who won his first two titles in 2011-2012, and seventh multi-time PBR World Champion.
In the league’s 28-year history, Leme is the 19th different rider – and seventh Brazilian – to claim the PBR World Champion gold buckle. His title is the 12th time a rider from Brazil has won what’s been called the most difficult individual championship in professional sports.
Along with capturing the 2021 PBR World Championship, Leme also won the 2021 PBR World Finals event title.
The win at the year-end event is the second of Leme’s career. The former semi-professional soccer player won the World Finals event in 2017 just days after setting foot on American soil for the first time. Leme went six-for-six both times he has won the World Finals event.
Leme is the fourth rider in history to win the grueling multi-day event against the world’s best bulls multiple times, joining Troy Dunn (1995 and 1997), J.B. Mauney (2009 and 2013) and Robson Palermo (2008, 2011 and 2012).
Leme is also only the fifth rider all-time to win the World Finals by covering all of his bulls. He has now achieved the feat twice and is the most recent to accomplish the feat, also winning the 2017 PBR World Finals via a perfect 6-for-6 showing.
The event win at the 2021 PBR World Finals marked Leme’s eighth of the season, tying 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.
During his march to the 2021 PBR World Finals event win in Las Vegas, Leme won two rounds, which broke even more records for the laser-focused champion.
Registering a combined 21 round victories in 2021, Leme broke the season record previously held by Mauney, who won 19 rounds as he rode to his first PBR World Championship in 2013.
Throughout 2021, Leme went a torrid 49-for-71, covering 69.01% of his animal athlete opponents, and earned $1,871,257.92, including $1,401,800 for his second PBR World Championship and World Finals event win.
Leme is now fifth in all-time money earned in PBR competition with his career earnings topping more than $5.11 million.
Leme’s historic trip with 2020 ABBI Classic Champion Woopaa also clinched two titles for the beloved animal athlete.
Woopaa was anointed both the 2021 YETI PBR World Champion Bull and 2021 YETI PBR Bull of the World Finals, earning $125,000 in prize money.
Woopaa concluded the season with an unrivaled 46.93-point world average, 0.58 points ahead of Chiseled (Flinn/D&H Cattle Co.), who finished the title race runner-up for the second consecutive season.
His season was capped by two dominant outs inside T-Mobile arena.
Woopaa was first marked 45 points in Round 2 of the 2021 PBR World Finals for his 3-second buckoff of Daylon Swearingen (Piffard, New York) before delivering the third-best bull score ever by a bovine athlete in the PBR when he was marked 48.75 points in the championship round with Leme.
Beyond his dominance at the World Finals, Woopaa was unmatched the entirety of the season. During the 2021 campaign, bulls registered nine bull scores of 47 points or more, with Woopaa responsible for six, including both that were in excess of 48 points.
Chad Berger was crowned the 2021 PBR Stock Contractor of the Year for an unprecedented 11th time, including the past eight consecutive seasons.
The 2021 PBR World Finals also decided the hotly contested 2021 PBR Rookie of the Year race. With 13 riders eligible for the year-end honor, Eli Vastbinder (Statesville, North Carolina) emerged a cut above the rest, registering four 90-point rides inside T-Mobile Arena to finish fifth at the year-end event, completing his come-from-behind surge to win the title.
Vastbinder concluded 2021 a career-best No. 9 in the world, edging out runner-up rookie Junior Patrik Souza (Sonora, Brazil) by 169.5 points.
Dakota Buttar (Kindersley, Saskatchewan, Canada) was awarded the Glen Keeley Award for the fifth consecutive year. This award goes to the Canadian bull rider earning the most points during the season.
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. Tune to channel 720 for the latest programming schedule, and click here for on-demand PBR programming.
Stay tuned to PBR.com for the latest news and results and be sure to follow the league on all social media platforms at @PBR.
PBR Unleash The Beast
PBR World Finals: Unleash The Beast
T-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, Nevada
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Round 4-Round 5-Round 6-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Jose Vitor Leme, 86.75-88-86.75-92.5-91.25-98.75-544.00-849 Points.
2. Kaique Pacheco, 90.5-0-91.25-87.75-83.5-92.25-445.25-555 Points.
3. Mason Taylor, 89.5-87.75-90.5-88.5-86.5-0-442.75-392 Points.
4. Silvano Alves, 0-85.75-86.25-88.5-89.5-91.5-441.50-266.5 Points.
5. Eli Vastbinder, 91-0-90-90-92.75-0-363.75-390 Points.
6. Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-88.25-89-92.25-88.25-0-357.75-235 Points.
7. Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-89.5-90.25-0-92.5-272.25-212 Points.
8. Cooper Davis, 90.75-0-89.25-0-0-91.75-271.75-178 Points.
9. Dener Barbosa, 0-89.25-89.75-0-87.75-0-266.75-128 Points.
10. João Ricardo Vieira, 0-89.25-89.25-0-87.25-0-265.75-97 Points.
11. Cody Teel, 85.5-91.75-0-87-0-0-264.25-88 Points.
12. João Henrique Lucas, 0-0-85-84.75-90-0-259.75-66 Points.
13. Junior Patrik Souza, 84.75-0-87.75-81.75-0-0-254.25-43 Points.
14. Marco Eguchi, 0-0-88.25-91-0-0-179.25-60 Points.
15. Cody Jesus, 0-0-0-88.5-89.5-0-178.00-59 Points.
16. Chase Dougherty, 88-89.25-0-0-0-0-177.25-74 Points.
17. Claudio Montanha Jr., 86.5-0-0-87.25-0-0-173.75-39.5 Points.
18. Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 0-84.25-86.25-0-0-0-170.50-20.5 Points.
19. Boudreaux Campbell, 78.75-0-0-0-89.75-0-168.50-45 Points.
20. Manoelito de Souza Junior, 82-0-0-0-85.25-0-167.25-27 Points.
21. Alvaro Aguilar Alvarez, 0-92-0-0-0-0-92.00-89 Points.
22. Lane Nobles, 0-0-90.25-0-0-0-90.25-45 Points.
23. Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 0-89.25-0-0-0-0-89.25-38 Points.
24. 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.
26. Andrew Alvidrez, 0-0-88.75-0-0-0-88.75-16 Points.
27. Lucas Divino, 0-0-0-87.5-0-0-87.50-13 Points.
28. Austin Richardson, 0-0-0-0-87.25-0-87.25-18 Points.
(tie). Cody Nance, 0-0-0-87.25-0-0-87.25-11.5 Points.
30. Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0-87-0-0-0-87.00-11 Points.
31. Jesse Petri, 0-0-0-0-86.25-0-86.25-12 Points.
32. Daylon Swearingen, 0-0-85.5-0-0-0-85.50-8 Points.
33. Paulo Ferreira Lima, 0-0-84.75-0-0-0-84.75-8 Points.
34. Dalton Kasel, 0-0-84.5-0-0-0-84.50-8 Points.
Keyshawn Whitehorse, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Eduardo Aparecido, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Alex Cerqueira, 0-0-0-0-0-0-0.00
Colten Fritzlan, 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
2021 PBR World Standings
(Place, Rider, Events, Wins, Top 5’s, Points, Total Winnings)
1. Jose Vitor Leme, 36, 12, 22, 2,949.50, $1,871,257.92
2. Kaique Pacheco, 45, 6, 18, 2,065.50, $484,757.92
3. Cooper Davis, 39, 3, 17, 1,529.50, $285,763.19
4. João Ricardo Vieira, 48, 2, 11, 1,153.50, $188,845.51
5. Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 53, 3, 11, 1,028.00, $197,570.34
6. Boudreaux Campbell, 36, 5, 9, 1,002.00, $209,700.52
7. Dener Barbosa, 44, 3, 14, 954.83, $158,394.14
8. Derek Kolbaba, 45, 2, 9, 891.00, $191,500.70
9. Eli Vastbinder, 46, 2, 10, 828.50, $219,493.10
10. Silvano Alves, 49, 0, 9, 780.00, $132,173.26
11. Mason Taylor, 31, 2, 6, 666.50, $163,133.57
12. Junior Patrik Souza, 54, 2, 9, 659.00, $112,121.07
13. Chase Dougherty, 48, 2, 12, 618.50, $112,796.42
14. Dalton Kasel, 31, 3, 9, 589.25, $144,957.24
15. Keyshawn Whitehorse, 50, 3, 10, 579.00, $94,811.80
16. Marco Eguchi, 33, 1, 8, 569.50, $100,305.90
17. Jesse Petri, 43, 2, 6, 538.58, $81,029.26
18. Cody Teel, 39, 1, 6, 534.50, $97,030.14
19. Claudio Montanha Jr., 40, 2, 6, 522.50, $135,541.14
20. Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 26, 3, 5, 518.00, $84,531.29
21. João Henrique Lucas, 39, 0, 5, 476.00, $75,094.94
22. Cody Jesus, 22, 2, 7, 435.50, $83,397.85
23. Marcelo Procopio Pereira, 39, 1, 5, 399.00, $50,453.33
24. Paulo Ferreira Lima, 25, 2, 4, 385.83, $144,661.32
25. Daylon Swearingen, 33, 2, 14, 368.00, $103,685.32
26. Andrew Alvidrez, 38, 2, 6, 366.25, $65,738.18
27. Eduardo Aparecido, 32, 0, 2, 351.00, $51,207.27
28. Alex Cerqueira, 25, 0, 4, 343.00, $51,372.01
29. Colten Fritzlan, 17, 1, 4, 339.50, $60,153.36
30. Ezekiel Mitchell, 38, 3, 5, 324.50, $49,607.77
31. Austin Richardson, 32, 1, 6, 294.00, $52,236.43
32. Adriano Salgado, 19, 1, 5, 267.00, $97,875.24
33. Cole Melancon, 28, 0, 3, 263.50, $44,646.29
34. Manoelito de Souza Junior, 27, 1, 7, 258.00, $43,563.41
35. Conner Halverson, 46, 2, 5, 224.00, $38,932.11
36. Cody Nance, 27, 0, 6, 209.66, $30,280.86
37. Fernando Henrique Novais, 23, 0, 4, 203.00, $29,751.13
38. Thiago Salgado, 34, 0, 5, 198.00, $31,812.03
39. Taylor Toves, 25, 0, 2, 187.00, $28,448.21
40. Alvaro Aguilar Alvarez, 20, 2, 5, 180.33, $54,876.05
41. Lucas Divino, 25, 0, 2, 179.00, $32,066.04
42. Kyler Oliver, 7, 0, 1, 163.00, $23,452.09
43. Lane Nobles, 21, 0, 5, 146.50, $31,944.86
44. Ramon de Lima, 23, 1, 3, 136.83, $21,760.74
45. Caic Cassio Carvalho, 9, 1, 2, 136.00, $20,046.08
Release was provided Courtesy of PBR to Tenn Texas Radio
Photo / Video By: Andy Watson / Bull Stock Media
ABOUT THE PBR
Headquartered in Pueblo, Colo., PBR was created in 1992 by a group of 20 visionary bull riders who broke away from the traditional rodeo scene, seeking mainstream attention, new riches and a livelihood for future generations of cowboys for the most popular discipline in rodeo, bull riding.
“We wanted to create a better product for the fans, so that when they tuned in they were seeing the best of the best every time,” said PBR co-founder and nine-time World Champion Ty Murray. “Those expectations have been exceeded immensely, and the fact that this sport continues to grow is a gratifying notion, one that supports all the hard work and dedication of every member of the PBR.”
The founders believed that bull riding deserved to be in the limelight and could succeed as a standalone sport. Each rider invested a hard-earned $1,000, some borrowing from family and friends, to start the PBR.
“This is the only sport in the world that I can take anyone to see, whether they know anything about it or not, and I guarantee you that they won’t be able to take their eyes off of it,” Murray said.
In 2007, Spire Capital Partners finalized a deal with PBR to acquire the interests of many of the retired founding riders and invest in the growth of the organization. Those first 20 bull riders had turned their $1,000 into millions.
In May 2015, PBR was acquired by Endeavor, a global leader in sports, entertainment and fashion.
More than 500 bull riders from around the world including the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico hold PBR memberships. They compete in more than 200 bull riding events each year on the nationally-televised Unleash The Beast series, Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour and Touring Pro Division, in addition to those held by international divisions in Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico.
For every rider, the ultimate goal is to qualify for the PBR World Finals, the richest bull riding event on the planet, with the season champion receiving the golden World Championship buckle and $1 million bonus.
The 20 original founders took a substantial gamble when pooling their limited resources to fund the grassroots operation. Yet, the risk has certainly paid off. Investors like Spire Capital Partners and Endeavor, and partnerships with Ford, Monster Energy, Wrangler, and the city of Las Vegas have helped the PBR annually award more than $10 million.
The success of PBR has made it one of the most prolific sports on television. The premier series is televised weekly on CBS Sports, CBS Sports Network and networks around the world. Several times in 2020, PBR was the second most-watched sport on television, trailing only the NFL. In 2019 PBR extended its broadcast relationship with the network inking an agreement ensuring CBS will remain PBR’s television home the next 10 years. Additionally, RidePass, the league’s 24/7 over-the-top (OTT) digital network launched in 2018 brings every moment of elite tour action to fans as well as the Velocity Tour, Global Cup and marquee rodeo events.
Collectively, PBR broadcasts reach 250MM households in more than 20 countries, and RidePass brings its growing subscriber base more than 150 rodeo and PBR events live and on-demand.
On social media, from January through November 2020, PBR generated more than 1.7 billion impressions on social media, 606 million video views and 629 million video minutes viewed. PBR’s channels are recognized to have among the most fan engagement of all major sports.