PUEBLO, Colo. – With the first-ever PBR Team Series regular season officially in the books, Austin Gamblers’ Jose Vitor Leme secured the PBR Team Series MVP title and accompanying $50,000 bonus this past weekend in Glendale, Arizona, courtesy of the star’s electric 19-for-25 performance this season.
Earning the highest aggregate score throughout the 10-event regular-season slate, despite missing several outings due to injury, Leme primarily battled with Carolina Cowboys’ frontrunner and 2022 PBR World Champion Daylon Swearingen, who also missed some time this season, for the coveted prize. Leme ultimately secured the feat inside Desert Diamond Arena last weekend at Ridge Rider Days.
As the Team Series Championship quickly approaches, set to invade Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena on Nov. 4-6, PBR.com is looking back on Leme’s top five rides from the PBR Team Series regular-season action.
89.75 points vs. John 14:6 at Gambler Days
While it seemed like Leme was seemingly posting 90-point score after 90-point score this year during his dominant run in the new format, bull riding fans may be surprised to see an 89.75-point performance in the MVP’s Top 5 rides.
Nonetheless, Leme covered John 14:6 by matching the bovine athlete jump-for-jump to the right.
Meeting the requisite 8 seconds and sending the hometown Austin crowd into a furious applause as the veteran sealed the contest against the Nashville Stampede at Gambler Days, Leme climbed aboard the dirt suites and celebrated with the supportive crowd, throwing a patented Austin Gamblers poker chip into the masses before being mobbed by his teammates on the dirt as the team celebrated its victory.
90.25 points vs. Patches at Thunder Days
Representing what would be the first of three-consecutive 90-plus-point rides for the two-time PBR World Champion, Leme climbed aboard Patches for a Friday night showdown at Thunder Days.
Hosted within the beautiful outdoor confines of Thunder Ridge Nature Arena, Patches and his opponent were primed for success.
Staying close to the chutes but bucking in epic fashion, Patches allowed the veteran to surpass the 8-second and 90-point marks (90.25 points) en route to Leme securing the walk-off victory against the Oklahoma Freedom.
But there wasn’t much celebration following the cowboy’s dismount, as Patches seemed to have stepped on Leme with his back legs at the end of their duel. With noted rib injuries sustained earlier in the season, concerns grew for the experienced rider.
Thankfully for Leme and the Gamblers, who were in the thick of the PBR Team Series standings at the time, next up on the schedule was a bye week for all teams, while Leme ultimately rejoined his team Oct. 7 at Rattler Days and got right back to work.
90.75 points vs. Montana Jacket at Cheyenne Frontier Days
PBR fans likely remember some of Leme’s most recent epic rides, helping the Gamblers capture its No. 1 seed and secure a first-round bye at the Team Series Championship.
What they may not remember is that Leme came into the inaugural season of action red-hot, going 3-for-3 at Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Kicking off the weekend with an 89-point ride on The Right Stuff and following it up with an 86-point outing Saturday aboard Lil Hott, Leme wasn’t finished.
The rare early-week competition, and first event of the young season, would eventually see Leme ride a second bull on Tuesday, July 26.
Making his Bonus Round debut and securing 7 bonus points via his ride aboard Montana Jacket, Leme was scored 90.75 points.
Despite Leme’s 3-for-3 weekend and second-place Bonus Round finish, the Gamblers finished the weekend 1-1 and third overall, as the rest of team went 2-for-8 in the opening weekend of action.
91 points vs. Hundred Bad Days
Continuing to dominate in his closer role, Leme clinched a Saturday night win over the Nashville Stampede 346.75-177.50 with an impressive 91-point outing aboard Hundred Bad Days.
“It’s unbelievable what we see from that guy. Even his teammates, you can see, are in awe of what Jose Vitor Leme brings to the table,” Matt West echoed throughout Dickies Arena and within the Pluto TV broadcast. “Line em’ up, Leme is going to knock them down: Every. Single. Time. This guy is so good.”
The matchup-securing ride was Leme’s second 90-plus-point outing in a row, the veteran’s third-straight qualified ride and represented what would be the first of three successful rides in Fort Worth, Texas.
91.75 points vs. Montana Jacket at Rattler Days
Capping off his 90-plus-point streak with his third of the weekend, Leme struck again at Rattler Days.
Bucked to the right via a familiar foe in Montana Jacket, Leme jumped off his opponent and quickly mounted the stage as the Dickies Arena crowd roared with applause.
Featuring a pair of hearty scores (47.25 rider score combined with a 44.50 bull score, both highs for Leme and his bovine competitors throughout the PBR Team Series season), Leme concluded the celebration with a helmet kick before kneeling and pointing to the sky.
His fourth-consecutive qualified ride, Leme eventually went on to ride seven-straight en route to helping his Gamblers capture the No. 1 seed and first-round bye at the Team Series Championship.
The MVP will now look to finish business for the green and black squad, with hopes of throwing several Gamblers-branded poker chips to an energetic T-Mobile crowd in Las Vegas on Nov. 4-6. All the action from Las Vegas airs on CBS Sports Network.
Article Courtesy of PBR
Photo courtesy of Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media