Leme & Swearingen Earn Early-Season Scores in Hopes of a Gold Buckle
Two-time gold buckle winner, Jose Vitor Leme, is ranked inside the Top 5 after just two events.
There is a long way to go — 21 more elite televised events — before the PBR will crown its 2024 World Champion and already a two-time gold buckle winner, Jose Vitor Leme, is ranked inside the Top 5 after just two events.
Leme was 86.25 points on Saturday night before sitting out Sunday’s final rounds, in St. Louis, as an early-season precaution.
The Brazilian native is 4-for-4, but not before earning a re-ride option on Saturday when judges marked 68 points on Old School. Moments later, he climbed back in the chute on Buffalo Chip. On Sunday morning, he was doctored out of event.
A few weeks earlier, he took to social media with a message for his fans following the opening event in Tucson, Arizona.
“Very blessed to start the season early in the first event and finish in the Top 5,” wrote Leme, who in recent years has not made his season debut until the calendar turns from December to January, “and also to already get my first over-90-grade on the season.”
Leme was the first to score 90 this season with 90.25 points in the Championship Round to finish fourth in Tucson, Arizona. He was 13th this weekend, despite competing in only one of three rounds.
Fellow Monster Energy teammate and 2022 World Champion Daylon Swearingen made his season debut in St. Louis.
He was 2-for-3, including scores of 84.75 points and 86.75 points, to finish ninth in the average and is 14th in the world standings.
Following his second ride on Spooky, CBS Sports broadcaster and former PBR champion Cooper Davis was “really impressed” with Swearingen’s effort away from his hand from Saturday night and remarked, “Other boys in the locker room better watch out because if he gets on a heater, he’s going to be tough to beat.”
An unassuming Swearingen simply replied, “I’ve just been working on getting my body good and just thankful and blessed to be here.”
Boudreaux Campbell was also in St. Louis and Tucson, while Kaique Pacheco (ankle) and Chase Outlaw (leg) are currently out of competition with injuries.
Leme, Swearingen, and Campbell will join the rest of the Top 35 riders in the world this coming weekend for the PBR’s first-ever event — at any level of competition — in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The three-day event will be followed by a trip to Manchester, New Hampshire.
The tour then goes to Albany, New York, on the final weekend of the year before turning the calendar from December to January.