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Images from the Sioux Falls Unleash The Beast PBR.
NEWS

Leme Rides Off With Another Win

Apr 162021

The bucking chute is made of reinforced steel and for those who have climbed on the backside of a bucking bull, they know all-too-well it is the most dangerous place in a rodeo arena.

For defending World Champion Jose Vitor Leme, he severely twisted his left ankle in Round 3 of last weekend’s elite televised PBR event in Sioux Falls, North Dakota, when it was pinned between a 1,800-pound bull and the steel fencing.

It is the same ankle he broke earlier this season. But, the injury did not keep him from competing.

In fact, despite a noticeable limp, Leme put together a pair of back-to-back 90-plus point rides on Sunday afternoon to win the event and move within 100 points of the No. 1 ranking in the PBR world standings.

“I feel some pain,” said Leme, who shrugged it off and said, “but we need to be cowboy and ride the bulls. That’s what I came for. I try to focus on my bull to do my job.”

 

After being given a moment to regroup, Leme rode Lil 2 Train for 90.5 points to earn the first pick in the bull draft for the Championship Round.

 

He selected Hundred Bad Days.

 

Needing another 90.5 points for the win, he brought the crowd inside the Denny Sanford Premier Center to its feet — it is worth noting it was the first major indoor sporting event to allow fans at full capacity — with a monster 92.25-point effort to ride off with another victory.

 

Leme has made 11 qualified rides this season. Seven of those 11 have been for 90 or more points.

 

Fellow Monster Energy rider Marco Eguchi finished the weekend fifth in the average, while Derek Kolbaba, who won the opening round on Friday night, finished the weekend ninth in the average to give Monster Energy three riders in the Top 10.

 

Newcomer Cody Teel also qualified for the Championship Round. He finished the Sioux Falls event splitting 11th and 12th in the average.

All six Monster Energy riders — two-time World Champion Jess Lockwood and Chase Outlaw were also competing in Sioux Falls — were energized by the largest crowd to see a PBR event since prior to the pandemic.

 

“They bring a lot of energy,” said Leme, who explained he tried his best for each of the bull riding fans in attendance.

 

“It’s amazing to have a lot of people here, a lot of fans. Thank you. This is amazing. Thank you for coming to watch all the bull riders here tonight.”

 

The top bull riders in the world will be in Oklahoma City this Saturday and Sunday for an elite two-day PBR event before moving on to Nampa, Idaho; Omaha, Nebraska; Billings, Montana, and Jacksonville, Florida, between now the end of May.

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