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William Pittman II Says Fire Opened His Eyes To Life by Kevin DeBusk For bareback rider William Pittman II, of Florence, Mississippi, making it to his first National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in 2001 was a dream come true, but that dream quickly got dampened. After the fourth performance William and his parents received a call saying their home had burned and everything was lost. Things turned around though thanks to a loving rodeo family and success at the finals. "It gave me an extra boost," he said. "I just went out and took advantage of that." He place in the money for the first time in round five and again placed in round six, winning $15,746 during NFR. "Everything is going good now," William reported. "We've got our house rebuilt and have moved in. "This was an eye opening experience. It makes you open your eyes and look around you, not just to rodeo but life in general. We really appreciate everything everyone did for us. We love every one of them like family." William is on track to make his second National Finals. "I feel pretty good right now," he said. "I made the cup finals (Copenhagen Cup Finale October 25-28, in Dallas, Texas). I hope to get hot there and carry it over to the National Finals." He continued saying it wasn't talked about much but the extra incentive of winning the Finale and getting to represent the United States at the 2002 Olympics was on everyone's minds. Pittman, who just won the Mid-South Fair Rodeo with a scores of 76 and 78, sits eight in the World with $60,324.

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