One of them — J.B. Mauney — is arguably the greatest bull rider in PBR history and, in just three seasons, the other — Jose Vitor Leme — is on pace to eclipse the Carolina cowboy who has become known as “The Dragon Slayer.”
Mauney, a two-time World Champion, will be competing in a record-tying 15th consecutive PBR World Finals. His fellow Monster Energy teammate, Leme, will be competing for just the fourth time and is the leading contender to win the 2020 world title, but a comparison of their first three full seasons at the elite televised level of competition is staggering.
Leme made the whistle 14 more times (128) than Mauney and 23 of those have been for 90 or more points compared to Mauney’s 13.
But the truly gaudy numbers are in the win column.
Leme has won 13 elite events, including his PBR debut at the 2017 World Finals, compared to Mauney’s respectable trio of event wins in his three full seasons. Leme has finished in the Top 5 34 times (or 49 percent of the elite events he’s competed at) compared to 19 for Mauney.
Mauney claimed those gold buckles in seasons 10 and 12.
Leme was stunned a year ago, but after becoming a far more complete rider in the past 12 months, he is poised to win his first title in season three.