BLACKFOOT â€” With spurs jingling and the flash of a shiny new belt buckle, Blackfoot cowboy Colby Giannini retells his exploits at the recently completed National Finals High School Rodeo in Gillette, Wyoming where the soon to be senior captured third place in the cow cutting event.
"It was a really good time," Giannini said. "I had my buddies there, Stetson Jorgenson also qualified for Nationals so I was able to hang out all week. This was definitely the high light of my summer."
Giannini was one of 84 cowboys to take to the indoor pavilion at the National Finals with each of them looking to take home the top prize.
"I honestly had a feeling that I could have won the thing," Giannini said. "I made some mistakes, especially in the first go or I could have been the champion."
As it was, Giannini was as consistent as the Southeastern Idaho wind, scoring 214.5 in the first go. Then followed that up with a 215 in go two before finishing the event with a 216 tally in the short go.
"I was improving slowly," Giannini said. "I think that the highest score of the week was 220 or something like that."
A third place finish was not totally expected in Giannini's first ever trip to the National Finals but it certainly was a trip that will not soon be forgotten.
"I almost made it in my freshman year," Giannini said. "I missed by one spot when I finished fifth."
Hard to believe that this is only the third year in which Giannini has competed in the cow cutting but one thing is for sure, Giannini will be back in the arena next Spring looking for a return trip to the National Finals.
"This is only my third year cutting," Giannini said. "I got started kind of on a last minute deal when my dad started me out my freshman year. My dad trains cutting horses and I will go with him to shows and sometimes he enters me. I took second in a Utah event last year which kind of shocked me."
That strong finish was parlayed into his strong season this Spring in the cutting arena. Giannini is more than a cutter however as he also qualified for the National Finals in the saddle bronc event and for his senior year, he is considering adding the bare back event as well, making him a triple threat at the weekend rodeos around the area.
"My good friend Cooper Clemens in Firth told me that I should try the bare back event and I might add it," Giannini said. "He always made it look pretty fun but he also got hung up a few times."
Regardless on what next season may bring, the one constant will be the shiny big belt buckle that he will have for the rest of his days in remembrance of his stellar performance in July of 2011.