PUEBLO, Colo. – Reigning World Champion Jose Vitor Leme’s historically great season has helped him open up an impressive 726.5-point lead in the world standings with four regular-season Unleash The Beast events remaining before the 2021 PBR World Finals.
World No. 2 Kaique Pacheco won his fifth event of the season this past weekend in Deadwood, South Dakota, and the race to the World Finals is officially on.
With Leme currently out of competition because of a partially torn right groin, the question has come up just how many points one rider can earn at the World Finals (Nov. 3-7 in Las Vegas) later this season. (Note: As of Monday morning, Leme’s status for the upcoming UTB event in San Antonio was still to be determined).
In theory, the maximum amount of points a rider could earn is 1,094. That would come with a rider winning every round (80 points per round win) and the event average (560 points), and being 90 or more points with all six rides. That is a tall task for any rider to pull off, including Leme himself.
However, a look into the current points system and comparing it to recent history can give us an idea of just how many points a rider may earn in Las Vegas in a month-and-a-half from now.
Below is a look at the last seven six-round PBR World Finals event winners, beginning with 2013 World Champion J.B. Mauney, who pulled off one of the most memorable comebacks in PBR history to end Silvano Alves’s attempt at winning a third consecutive World Championship.
The last seven World Finals event winners, excluding 2020 World Finals event winner Boudreaux Campbell (5 rounds), would have earned an average of 817.14 points toward the world standings under the PBR’s current points system.
2013 – J.B. Mauney goes a perfect 6-for-6 to win his first World Championship and second World Finals title (1,008 world points)
J.B. Mauney won five of the last nine regular-season premier series events to get himself within striking distance of defending World Champion Silvano Alves ahead of the 2013 World Finals. Mauney’s comeback did not stop at the front doorstep of the Thomas & Mack Center. Instead, he stormed to his first world title by winning four of the six rounds to usurp Alves for the $1 million championship.
Mauney (6-for-6) was sensational in Las Vegas with rides aboard Train Robber (88.75 points), Smackdown (93.75 points), JW Hughes’s Excavation (89 points), Breakdown (90.75 points), Slippery Devil (91 points) and Wipeout (93 points).
In the current points system, Mauney’s performance would have netted him 1,008 points toward the world standings – the highest total among the riders analyzed. Mauney won four rounds and placed second and third in the other two. Four of his six rides went for 90 or more points. Mauney would have earned an outstanding 92.14% of the total world points available at the 2013 World Finals under this season’s system.
2014 – Silvano Alves goes a perfect 6-for-6 to win the World Finals and his third World Championship (711 world points)
Alves won a record-tying third World Championship by also riding all six of his bulls at the World Finals. Alves, who ended the 2014 season with 13 consecutive rides on the premier series, began the Finals in 2014 third in the world standings, chasing No. 1 Joao Ricardo Vieira and No. 2 Fabiano Vieira.
Alves capped off his record-setting performance by riding his nemesis Asteroid for 87.25 points to end the 2012 World Champion Bull’s streak of 30 consecutive buckoffs.
In addition to Asteroid, Alves rode DaNutso (86.25 points), Mr. Clark (87.75 points), Here We Go (69 points), Freakster (86.25 points) and Hokey Pokey (85.5 points) on his path to victory at the Finals.
The future Ring of Honor inductee would have earned 711 points toward the world standings – the lowest among the riders analyzed. Alves had an average round placement of 7.16 and won zero rounds.
2015 – Cooper Davis goes 4-for-6 to win the World Finals as a rookie (724 world points)
Cooper Davis went 4-for-6 to become the fourth rookie in PBR history at the time to win the World Finals event average, less than three months after he lost 24 pounds to become a better bull rider.
The Jasper, Texas, cowboy rode Moto Moto for 85.5 points in Round 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center to move into the event lead. He previously rode Dakota Style’s Hy Test for a then-career-high-tying 89 points in Round 1, Cowboy Dance Hall’s Panda Trax (88 points) and Compact (87.5 points).
Davis would have earned 724 points toward the world standings in the 2021 system. Davis had an average round placement of 3.75 and won zero rounds.
2016 – Ryan Dirteater goes 6-for-6 to win first World Finals at T-Mobile Arena (804 world points)
Ryan Dirteater became the first bull rider to win the PBR World Finals at T-Mobile Arena, going a perfect 6-for-6. Dirteater was the fifth rider all-time to win the World Finals by riding all of his bulls – 1997 winner Troy Dunn (5-for-5), 2001 winner Luke Snyder (5-for-5), 2009 & 2013 winner J.B. Mauney (8-for-8, 6-for-6) and 2014 winnerSilvano Alves (6-for-6). Jose Vitor Leme would become the sixth in 2017.
Dirteater was flawless in Vegas, riding High Test (86.75 points), Billy Bat Skat (86 points), Jack Daniel’s After Party (87 points), Swashbuckler (86.5 points), Minion Stuart (87.25 points) and Brutus (89.75 points).
The Hulbert, Oklahoma bull rider would have net 804 points in this year’s system. Dirteater had an average round placement of 4.83 and won one round.
2017 – Jose Vitor Leme makes stunning debut at the World Finals with 6-for-6 performance (893 world points)
Ten days after stepping foot in the United States for the first time, Leme shocked the bull riding world by going 6-for-6 to win the 2017 World Finals event average as well as the Rookie of the Year award.
It was one of the most unexpected and outstanding Finals performances in PBR history by a rookie bull rider who was once a semi-pro soccer player in Brazil.
Leme – the 20th different World Finals event winner at the time – had advanced to the World Finals as the international wild card from the Velocity Tour Finals, where he went a ho-hum 3-for-4.
Once Leme stepped foot inside T-Mobile Arena for the World Finals, though, he quickly began to show just how special he was. Leme started with 86 points on Opus in Round 1 and 86.5 points on Slinger Jr., one of the tougher bulls to ride at the time, in Round 2. In Round 3, Leme turned it up a notch with 90 points on Mudshark. He did not stop there either and went on to ride Big Dutch for 90.5 points.
The real marquee ride, though, was Leme’s 94.5 points on Magic Train.
Leme would have earned 893 points in the current points system, which is the second-most among the riders analyzed. Leme won two rounds and had an average round placement of 3.16.
2018 – Marco Eguchi bounces back from wreck in Round 2 to win 2018 World Finals (764 points)
Marco Eguchi rode like he never had before at the 2018 World Finals, going 5-for-6 and posting a career-best 94 points on World Champion Bull contender Spotted Demon during Round 2 for his first 90-point ride in more than four years. The ride did not come without a consequence, as Eguchi was then knocked out just beyond the 8-second mark when Spotted Demon hit him in the face with his horn.
The 29-year-old was then able to clear the PBR’s concussion protocol the next night and went on to tie for the Round 3 victory with another 90-point ride, this time earning 91 points aboard Stuntman Ray.
Eguchi was 5-for-5 at the World Finals before bucking off co-Bull of the World Finals Legit in 4.32 seconds in the championship round.
Eguchi won two rounds and had an average round placement of 6.6.
2019 – Jess Lockwood goes 5-for-6 to pull off memorable comeback to win second world title and first World Finals (816 points)
Jess Lockwood made history in 2019 by becoming the sixth rider in PBR history to win multiple World Championships.
The then-22-year-old is also the youngest rider ever to win two or more gold buckles, and his 5-for-6 showing at the 2019 PBR World Finals also made him one of five riders to win the World Championship and World Finals event title in the same season.
Lockwood’s championship also featured one of the most incredible come-from-behind performances at the World Finals. Lockwood began the World Finals 749.66 points behind world leader Leme in the previous points system after Leme won the 2019 Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour Finals. Before Lockwood winning the 2019 World Championship, no rider had ever overcome more than a 467.5-point deficit in that points system, which Lockwood did in 2017.
Regarding the current points system, Lockwood would have earned 816 world points. He won one round and had an average round placement of 3.2
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Photo courtesy of Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media