Leme Conquers Smooth Operator for Highest Marked Ride of the Year and 15/15 Bucking Battle Win in Billings

By: Mandi McCary

BILLINGS, Mont. – On a night where 15 cowboys bested their bulls in two rounds of PBR (Professional Bull Riders) action, the Brazilian riders dominated with four 90-point rides, while the world’s top cowboy shined brightest at the Unleash The Beast (UTB) 15/15 Bucking Battle at Saturday night’s PBR Ariat Invitational presented by Cooper Tires.

World No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) conquered World Champion Bull Smooth Operator (Dakota Rodeo/Julie Rosen/Clay Struve/Chad Berger) to win the special round with a 94.25-point score. It was Leme’s eighth 90-point ride of the season, and the highest marked ride of the 2020 season, following his 94-point trip aboard Chiseled in Salt Lake City in late August.

Leme’s special round victory further secured his massive 463.09 world lead as world No. 1, earning him 50 world points and a check for $7,312.

Earlier, Leme also rode his bull in Round 2 action, earning an additional 16 world points, and making him a perfect 3-for-3 on the weekend going into championship Sunday, where the former Brazilian soccer star will attempt to win his seventh event of the year.

Fellow countryman Lucas Divino (Nova Crixas Goias, Brazil) finished second in the special round as he fired out of the chutes aboard Stretch (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Heald Pro Bulls) for 91.75 points.

Beginning the night at No. 7 in the world standings, Divino jumped one spot to No. 6 after collecting 40 world points. The impressive ride earned him a $4,562.50 paycheck.

Veteran rider Joao Ricardo Vieira (Itatinga, Brazil) tied for third place in the round with 2018 PBR World Champion Kaique Pacheco (Itatiba, Brazil), the pair recording matching 90-point rides.

Vieira made the 8 aboard Sharon’s Little Twister (Glover Cattle/ D&H Cattle Co.) while Pacheco bested Marquis Metal Works Bill The Butcher (Paradigm Bull Co / Marquis Metal Works). Both Brazilian riders collected 32.5 world points and identical $3,062.50 checks.

The qualified rides helped Pacheco secure his No. 4 spot in the world standings while also helping Vieira maintain his No. 2 spot despite a widening gap between he and Leme. Vieira, who entered the night 439.59 points behind Leme, now trails his countryman by 463.09 points.

Earlier in the night the Texas cowboys prevailed in Round 2. 2016 PBR World Champion Cooper Davis (Jasper, Texas) had the socially distanced crowd on its feet as he conquered M.A.G.A. (TNT Bucking Bulls/ Hart Cattle Co) for the first 90-point ride of the weekend, leading him to the round win.

The electric ride was his second 90-point ride of the 2020 season. At the Bismarck, North Dakota, UTB Davis rode Speed Demon (Dakota Rodeo/Berger/Struve/Heald) for 90.25 points.

Holding on strong to the No. 10 spot in the world, the Texas champ collected a $3,500 check and 20 world points.

Fellow Texan Mason Taylor (Maypearl. Texas) finished second in Saturday night’s opening round. The young gun made the 8 aboard Freckles Brown (Wentz Bucking Bulls/ Aces Wild Pro Rodeo) for 88.5 points. Taylor earned $2,500 and 10 world points.

Taylor, who arrived in Billings at No. 17 in the world, now sits in the No. 14 spot headed into the final day at First Interstate Arena at Metrapark.

Keeping the Texas hot streak going, Ezekiel Mitchell (Rockdale, Texas) rode @PBR On TikTok (Paradigm Bull Company) for 88.25 points for third in the round. Mitchell moved one spot from No. 12 to No. 11 in the world after collecting nine world points and $2,000.

Brazilian rider Eduardo Aparecido (Gouvelandia, Brazil) tied with young Texan Andrew Alvidrez (Seminole, Texas) for fourth after both recorded identical 87.5-point scores.

Aparecido bested Dr. Campbell (Dakota Rodeo/ Chad Berger/ Clay Struve) while Alvidrez made the whistle aboard Losing My Religion (Kruger Bucking Bulls).

Both riders earned $937.50 and 7.5 world points. Aparecido held on to his No. 13 spot in the world while Alvidrez jumped two spots from No. 30 to No. 28.

The best bull riders in the world will return to First Interstate Arena at Metrapark on Sunday, Sept. 13 for Round 3 and the championship round of the PBR Ariat Invitational presented by Cooper Tires. CBS Sports Network will broadcast all the action from the championship round on Sunday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. EDT.

Fans can relive all the action from Round 2 starting on Sunday, Sept. 13 at 8 a.m. EST on or via the RidePass mobile App. The 15/15 Bucking Battle special round can be watched on CBS at 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday as well. Check your local listings as airtimes will vary by market this weekend.

PBR Unleash The Beast
15/15 Bucking Battle
First Interstate Arena at Metrapark – Billings. Montana

1. Jose Vitor Leme, 94.25-94.25-50 Points.
2. Lucas Divino, 91.75-91.75-40 Points.
3. João Ricardo Vieira, 90-90.00-32.5 Points.
(tie). Kaique Pacheco, 90-90.00-32.5 Points.
Jess Lockwood, 0-0.00
Daylon Swearingen, 0-0.00
Cole Melancon, 0-0.00
Cooper Davis, 0-0.00
Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-0.00
Eduardo Aparecido, 0-0.00
Mason Taylor, 0-0.00
Cody Teel, 0-0.00
Ramon de Lima, 0-0.00
Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-0.00
Marco Eguchi, 0-0.00

PBR Unleash The Beast – PBR Ariat Invitational presented by Cooper Tires
First Interstate Arena at Metrapark -Billings, Montana
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)

1. Cooper Davis, 85.75-90-0-0-175.75-26.5 Points.
2. Keyshawn Whitehorse, 89.5-0-0-0-89.50-20 Points.
3. Andrew Alvidrez, 88.5-87.5-0-0-176.00-16.5 Points.
4. Jose Vitor Leme, 89.25-86.5-0-0-175.75-16 Points.
5. Mason Taylor, 83.75-88.5-0-0-172.25-11 Points.
6. Lucas Divino, 85.75-85.75-0-0-171.50-9 Points.
(tie). Ezekiel Mitchell, 0-88.25-0-0-88.25-9 Points.
8. Dakota Louis, 86.5-84.75-0-0-171.25-8 Points.
9. Eduardo Aparecido, 0-87.5-0-0-87.50-7.5 Points.
10. Jake Lockwood, 85.25-0-0-0-85.25-5 Points.
11. Jess Lockwood, 84-85.75-0-0-169.75-4.5 Points.
(tie). Cody Teel, 0-86.25-0-0-86.25-4.5 Points.
(tie). Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 0-86.25-0-0-86.25-4.5 Points.
14. Kaique Pacheco, 85-0-0-0-85.00-3.5 Points.
(tie). J.B. Mauney, 85-0-0-0-85.00-3.5 Points.
16. Junior Patrik Souza, 0-85.5-0-0-85.50-1 Points.
17. Silvano Alves, 0-83.5-0-0-83.50
18. Daylon Swearingen, 82-0-0-0-82.00
(tie). Claudio Montanha Jr., 82-0-0-0-82.00
20. Rubens Barbosa, 80.75-0-0-0-80.75
21. Brennon Eldred, 77.75-0-0-0-77.75
João Ricardo Vieira, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Colten Jesse, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Dener Barbosa, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cole Melancon, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Ramon de Lima, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Derek Kolbaba, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Marco Eguchi, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Stetson Lawrence, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Alex Cerqueira, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Taylor Toves, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Rafael Henrique dos Santos, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Casper, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Paulo Ferreira Lima, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Bradley Brittain, 0-0-0-0-0.00
Cody Nance, 0-0-0-0-0.00

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