In his striving to be a rodeo champion, Stoney Burke must contend with a self-serving friend, an unscrupulous promoter, a young punk itching for a fight, a beautiful woman betrothed to a rival, and the meanest bronc on the circuit--Megaton.
Political rivals in Kate City use the rodeo and a prizefighter as pawns in their grudge match. When the boxing interests attempt to bully the rodeo into postponing its event, Stoney sets out to fight city hall.
Soames Hewitt, the idle son of a judge in a traditional Southern community, fancies himself a bull rider. Stoney, E.J., and Cody become the targets of Soames' vicious temper when he believes they have dishonored his family's name.
A bull rider is killed, which scares the town into canceling the rodeo. Stoney's attempts to have the rodeo restored and to help the dead man's prideful but dirt poor family put him at odds with powerful city merchant Reese Ludlow.