ARLINGTON--Most of the time, there's plenty of drama throughout the Professional Bull Riders World Finals’ closing performance.
One big attention grabber is the world's leading bull riding association traditionally awards a $1 million bonus to the year's top athlete and it often comes down to the last performance. But this year, Jose Vitor Leme, a Brazilian who lives in Decatur, entered the 2020 World Finals closing performance on Sunday, Nov. 15, at AT&T Stadium with the coveted seven-figure check already secured.
Leme snared his first gold buckle and the $1 million in dramatic fashion during the Saturday, Nov. 14, show by winning Round 3 with an unusually high score of 95.75 aboard a rampaging bull named Woopaa (Barker Bucking Bulls).
During the Nov. 15 PBR World Finals closing performance, Leme was bucked off of his fourth and finals round bulls. However, he had reached his gold buckle goal at the World Finals by staying on each bull in Rounds 1-3.
When the dust settled, Leme clinched the 2020 PBR world title with 1,573 points. Joao Ricardo Vieira, another Brazilian who is from Decatur, finished second with 916.91.
"I just did my job riding bulls," Leme said through an interpreter. "It came in God's time."
Leme was a PBR world title contender in 2018 and 2019.
"The last two years, I lost, and it's not a good feeling," he said. "But, it made me stronger. It's also kind of helped me get better in my riding percentages ..."
According to pbr.com, Leme won a PBR best 16 rounds in 2020. He was 44-for-65 against the bulls throughout the year on the Unleash The Beast, the association's top tier tour. He had a commendable 67.69% qualified ride average on the UTB.
After receiving the $1 million bonus for clinching the 2020 world title, Leme's total earnings for 2020 in the PBR were $1,601,931.
Boudreaux Campbell, who is from Crockett, clinched both the PBR World Finals event title and the association's top rookie award. He earned a $300,000 World Finals event champion’s check and pocketed more than $470,000 in the PBR throughout 2020.
Campbell has an opportunity to earn more bigger bucks at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's Dec. 3-12 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at Globe Life Field in Arlington. He has earned a trip to the 2020 Wrangler NFR in bull riding.
At the PBR World finals, a bovine named Smooth Operator clinched a second consecutive PBR World Champion Bull title. The bull is owned by Dakota Rodeo, Julie Rosen, Clay Struve and Chad Berger. Berger, who is from North Dakota, received a record 10th PBR Stock Contractor of the Year award.
Women's rodeo finale
Jackie Crawford, a Stephenville cowgirl who has earned 19 Women's Professional Rodeo Association world titles, clinched the all-around title at the Women's Rodeo World Championship in Arlington.
The first part of the Women's Rodeo World Championship was Nov. 8-12 at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in Fort Worth. From there, the top six in each event advanced to the finals rounds at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium. The finals rounds were conducted on Nov. 13-15 in conjunction with the PBR World Finals.
Crawford, who competed in team roping heeling at AT&T Stadium, earned the all-around title and the $20,000 prize that went with it. Her total earnings from the entire Women's Rodeo World Championship in Fort Worth and Arlington were $34,539.
Hope Thompson of Abilene and Rylie Smith of Whitsett clinched the team roping title with a finals time of 13.66 seconds on Nov. 13 at AT&T Stadium. They each earned $90,000. The reason that their earnings were inflated was because they were the only duo that made a qualified run during the finals round.
Hallie Hanssen of Hermosa, South Dakota, clinched the barrel racing title with a 14.735-second run on Nov. 14 and Madison Outhier of Utopia, Texas, lassoed the break-away roping title on Nov. 15 with a 2.05. Hanssen and Outhier each earned $60,000.
The Women's Rodeo World Championship was produced by the World Champions Rodeo Alliance and the PBR.
College rodeo update
On the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Southern Region circuit, Sam Houston State’s women’s team finished second in the women’s team title race at the Nov. 13-14 Sam Houston State Rodeo in Conroe. After finishing strongly, SHSU is ranked No. 2 in the NIRA’s Southern Region 2020-2021 women’s team title race with 710.66 points. McNeese State is ranked No. 1 with 1,047.5.
Sam Houston State’s men’s team finished third in the men’s team title race at the SHSU Rodeo. SHSU is ranked No. 3 in the NIRA’s Southern Region men’s team standings with 1,057 points. Panola College is ranked No. 1 with 1,990.5.
The Sam Houston State Rodeo was the fourth show of the 2020-2021 regular season in the NIRA Southern Region.
TVCC rider places
In bull riding at the SHSU Rodeo, James Cameron Rogers of Trinity Valley Community College finished second with a 76. He's ranked fourth in the Southern Region 2020-2021 bull riding title race with 169.5 points. Christopher Kyle Villanueva of Sam Houston State is ranked No. 1 with 255.5.
Brett Hoffman, a Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame member, has covered rodeos and horse show events for the Fort Worth Star-T