Rising rodeo star Ely Braxton (Marcus Thomas) is recovering from injuries that almost took his life. Against the wishes of his mother Rose Braxton (Melinda Dillon) and girlfriend Connie (Molly Ringwald), Ely starts riding bulls again to achieve his dream of becoming a champion bull rider like his estranged father, Reid Braxton (Pete Postlethwaite). Ely's older brother, Hank (Kiefer Sutherland), is a champion bullfighter and stock contractor, and the two use each other to better their rodeo skills and work together at their family ranch in Santa Maria, California. As Ely's rodeo career becomes highly successful, he starts a relationship with Celia Jones (Daryl Hannah), who is a barrel racer and Hank's love interest. Hank is consumed with anger and jealousy at Ely's betrayal and the brothers become estranged.