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September 2021 issue is now available!


PBR Music City Knockout


By Kacie Albert; photos from Championship Sunday courtesy Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On the spurs of his historic record-setting 90-point ride Saturday evening, August 21, 2021 inside Bridgestone Arena, reigning PBR (Professional Bull Riders) World Champion Jose Vitor Leme(Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) remained dominant on Championship Sunday, August 22. Recording yet another 90-point score that adds to his all-time single-season record, Leme rode to his league-leading fifth Unleash The Beast event win in Nashville at the Ariat Music City Knockout, presented by Cooper Tires.

As the event got underway, Leme made sports history in Round 1. Riding Show Me Homie(K-C Bucking Bulls/JoZ Bucking Bulls) for 90.75 points, his 17th 90-point ride of the season, the Brazilian phenomenon set a new league record for most 90-point rides recorded in one season.

The 90-point ride allowed Leme to surpass previous record-holder Cody Hart(Gainesville, Texas) who logged sixteen 90-point rides en route to the 1999 PBR World Championship. Leme tied Hart for ownership of the record in late July in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when he set a new PBR all-time record for high-marked ride, covering Woopaa(Barker Bulls/Hookin’ W Ranch) for 97.75 points.

Remaining red-hot on Championship Sunday, Leme punched his ticket to the championship round when he covered The Sauce(Blake Sharp/Henry Wilson) for 82.25 points. The qualified ride avenged a buckoff from May, when Leme was dispatched by the bull in 6.56 seconds in Omaha, Nebraska.

With two qualified rides in the opening rounds, Leme earned the fourth pick in the championship round bull draft, and he architected another rematch in which he hoped to reverse past fortunes. He selected Bubba G(M Rafter E/High View Cattle), a bull who had previously bucked him off in April in Oklahoma City in a heartbreaking 7.71 seconds.

The decision paid dividends. Matching the bull jump-for-jump, Leme further cemented his name in PBR history, recording his 18th 90-point ride of the season when he won the championship round, compliments of a 91.75-point score.

For his efforts, Leme earned $29,086.34 and 147 world points. Furthering his stronghold on the world No. 1 rank, Leme now leads No. 2 Kaique Pacheco(Itatiba, Brazil) by a season-best 519.5 points.

As the only other rider to go a perfect 3-for-3, Alex Cerqueira(Iguatemi, Brazil) was second, netting 92.5 world points and a check for $17,391.19.

Cerqueira first tied for fifth in Round 1 when he rode Poncho Villa(K-C Bucking Bulls/Bull Creek Bucking Bulls) for 87.25 points.  The 28-year-old then climbed the leaderboard in Round 2 when he went the distance aboard Canadian Mist(TNT Bucking Bulls/Hart Cattle Co.) for 86 points. Drafting Apper’s Mind Freak (Jo-Z Bucking Bulls/K-C bucking Bulls/Spark-Lin Acres) as his final bovine athlete opponent, Cerqueira punctuated his perfect performance with an 88.25-point score.  Cerqueira’s silver finish gained him three positions in the race for the 2021 PBR World Championship, elevating him from No. 22 to No. 19 in the world.

Third was Mauricio Moreira(Gaviao Peixoto, Brazil). Covering Mr. Simmons(K-C Bucking Bulls/Daniels Cattle Co.) for 87.5 points in Round 1 and Not Today(Nancy Haverty/Clay Struve/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger) for 89 points in Round 2, Moreira led the Ariat Music City Knockout, presented by Cooper Tires, entering the championship round. Moreira, however, was unable to clinch the win, bucked off by 2019 ABBI Classic Champion Chiseled(Flinn/D&H Cattle Co.) in 5.34 seconds.

The 22-year-old left Bridgestone Arena with a check for $11,909.59, while also having earned 67.5 world points. Moreira is now ranked No. 12 in the world, up two positions after beginning the tour stop No. 14.

Word No. 2 Kaique Pachecoremained within striking distance of Leme compliments of his fourth-place finish in the Music City. Pacheco was a force in the opening rounds, delivering back-to-back scores when he covered Game Day(Next Level Bucking Bulls) for 87.75 points in Round 1, and Safety Meeting(Hruby/Kainz/Clay Struve/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger) for 88 points in Round 2.  The “Ice Man,” however, was thwarted by Flight Risk(D&H Cattle Co.) in the championship round, bucked off in 5.77 seconds. The 2018 PBR World Champion’s 2-for-3 finish secured him 51.5 world points.

Rounding out the Top 5 in fifth was Derek Kolbaba(Walla Walla, Washington), earning 36 world points. Kolbaba twice made the requisite 8 in Nashville, covering Ponotoc (Dewey/Hart Cattle Co.) for 81 points in Round 1 and Delbert Sr.(Clay Struve/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger) for 89.25 points in Round 2. He was bucked off by Drago(Jeb Fredericks/Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger)in 3.52 seconds in the championship round. The Washington rider rose from No. 12 to No. 10 in the world, now 1,294.5 points behind No. 1 Leme.

In the bull pen, the bovine athletes were dominant, with their athleticism on full display in the tour stop’s accompanying 15/15 Bucking Battle, surrendering no qualified rides.

Bucking in the special round, Pookie Holler(Dakota Rodeo/Brian & Ashley Pintar/Chad Berger) was the YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event, marked an impressive 46.5 points for his 1.91-second trip with Rafael Henrique dos Santos(Sebastianopolis, Brazil).

PBR Unleash The Beast
PBR Ariat Music City Knockout, presented by Cooper Tires
Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, Tennessee
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)

1. Jose Vitor Leme, 90.75 - 82.25 - 91.75 - 264.75 - 147 Points.
2. Alex Cerqueira, 87.25 – 86 - 88.25 - 261.50 - 92.5 Points.
3. Mauricio Gulla Moreira, 87.5 – 89 – 0 - 176.50 - 67.5 Points.
4. Kaique Pacheco, 87.75 – 88 – 0 - 175.75 - 51.5 Points.
5. Derek Kolbaba, 81 - 89.25 – 0 - 170.25 - 36 Points.

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