For the 15th time in history, PBR (Professional Bull Riders) will buck into “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” as the toughest sport on dirt holds one of the initial events of the 2022 season for the elite PBR Unleash The Beast, invading the Big Apple on Jan. 7-8 for the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden, presented by Ariat. For two nights only, 40 of the best riders in the world will square off against the rankest bucking bulls in the nation, the ultimate showdown of man vs. beast, seeking to be crowned the event champion and earn crucial points towards the world standings.
The New York City event will also be one of three Majors this season, giving riders the chance to earn increased world points, and their share of the augmented event purse.
After a one-year hiatus from travelling to Madison Square Garden, the PBR will storm back into Manhattan on the spurs of an unforgettable 2021 season. En route to being crowned the 2021 PBR World Champion, Jose Vitor Leme rewrote nearly every major PBR record, including twice obliterating the all-time high-marked ride record aboard Woopaa, the very bull who propelled him to the 2020 title. In late July in Tulsa, Leme and Woopa first teamed for a monstrous 97.75-point score, breaking the previous 96.5-point record. On the final out of the season at the 2021 PBR World Finals, Leme was marked an unprecedented 98.75 points on Woopaa, including the first-ever perfect 50-point rider score. He became just the seventh multi-time PBR World Champion, and second back-to-back PBR World Champion. During Leme’s historic campaign, he also set new records for most round wins in a season (21) and most 90-point rides in a season (24). Throughout 2021, Leme went a torrid 49-for-71, covering 69.01% of his animal athlete opponents, including a 12-out ride streak to end the season. While Leme continues to battle a nagging abdominal and groin injury, should he return in time for the New York City event, he would be contending for a new honor — Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden event champion.