Jose Vitor Leme came into the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Express Ranches Invitational in Oklahoma City event riding the momentum of winning the Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic in Sacramento the previous weekend.
Leme might not be as experienced as the other top bull riders in the world (he’s only been riding bulls for five years) but he can put on clinics for posting high-scores and round winning rides all the same.
In fact, in Sacramento, he did just that by being a perfect 3-for-3, claiming the event title and boosting his world ranking in the process.
Fast forward one week later, and Jose the soccer-playing bull rider was again standing atop the Can-Am cage hoisting another championship buckle and with his foot firmly placed on the gas pedal.
Jose was paired with Landslide (1/1), and the bull did not perform in the out as expected, he was given a reride option with Smooth Over (18-10). Leme threw out the low-scoring ride and looked forward to getting a second bull.
Taking the reride worked in Leme’s favor as he wrapped his riding hand and nodded for the gate to open, Smooth over jumped out of the gate and Jose made the 8-second whistle for 85.75 points to replace his previous low score of 73 points.
The matchup with Smooth Over can be viewed below:
Jose did not spend much time looking in his rearview mirror and instead focused on the road ahead of in this event. He was throwing punches at the reigning world champion, Jess Lockwood, in a rivalry to watch this season. Neither Jose or Jess seem to allow the pressure of what the other does get to them, but instead, look to push one another perform better with each out.
The championship round of the Express Ranches Invitational was no different as Leme strode up to the top of the Can-Am cage during the Championship Round draft and said he wanted to be paired-up with Bullseye for the championship round.
Jose does not seem to be phased by the pressure of performing in clutch moments like a football team coming on to the field after halftime with a large point deficit to overcome.
The young Brazilian star is rather relaxed and most often laser-focused on getting his job of riding a beast that outweighs him 10-12 times and posting high-scores after the 8-second whistle blows.
Jose came into the Championship round knowing he had to make up ground over the event leader, Lockwood. He went with Bullseye (3-5) as his best chance to make the 8-seconds with a high score for the event lead.
Leme nodded and Bullseye exploded out of the chute with the fit rider securely seated on his back. He would remain there until the 8-second whistle blew. After making the 8-second whistle, Jose quickly exited and then soccer kicked his helmet across the arena –part of his now-familiar celebration after a big ride. The scores were tallied and an amazing 92-points flashed on the scoreboard.
Check out the 92-point, event winning ride below:
Leme now has back-to-back event titles, putting some distance between the top contenders chasing him.
Can he take the momentum of the two event wins into Los Angeles and secure his first career PBR Major victory at Iron Cowboy next weekend inside the STAPLES center?
If this weekend in Oklahoma was any indication, Jose might just become the 2020 Iron Cowboy and continue to leave his competitors in the dust.
Fans can relive all of the action of the Express Ranches Invitational on PBR’s subscription-based digital network RidePass via RidePass.com or the RidePass mobile application.
CBS Sports Network will broadcast round 2 and the championship round from Oklahoma City at 4:00 PM EST today.
No matter how you watch, it is an event showcasing bull-power and exciting rides that help make this a must-watch event for all fans.
And unlike a football game that we hear is supposed be on later today, no roughing penalties were given.