Mitch's old mentor and idol Johnny Prewitt is now aged, crippled, and embittered. His one goal in life is to capture and break the wild stallion that crippled him. Mitch tries to help him do so, even though finding the horse puts him in conflict with the man who now owns Johnny's old ranch.
Wealthy rancher and one-time rodeo rider Lynn Horn has no sympathy or understanding of his sensitive son Gabriel's interest in drawing, and pushes him into doing something more manly. When Gabriel thus tries to ride a dangerous horse and is crippled in the attempt, Lynn blames the horse and plans to kill it.
A brilliant surgeon who fled Hungary for America finds it too difficult and time-consuming to obtain a license to practice here, so he has been working as a veterinarian instead. But he can't resist giving his medical opinion to people, which causes friction with the local doctor.
A friend of Mitch, a popular country singer, is suggested by his wife as the ideal gubernatorial candidate whom a newspaper editor is looking for to defeat the crooked incumbent. But after he gets into the race and ahead in the polls, the honest candidate finds himself having to deal with the less than scrupulous methods of those on his own side.
When young Cindy Hopkins' beloved horse breaks her leg, the vet tells her that she must be put down, but Cindy refuses to accept it. Another vet, an old friend of Mitch and Andy, thinks the horse can be saved, but is too unsure of himself to attempt it. Cindy is thus driven to desperate measures.
Mitch and Andy become involved in the dispute between an Amish farmer and his son. The son wants to read books on many subjects, such as dinosaurs and rockets, but his father strongly disapproves, believing it will lead his son away from their simple way of life.
Delirious after being hit by a car, Mitch rides a bus deep into Mexico, where he is taken in by a beautiful young Mexican woman. She tells him she works as a secretary, but he learns soon that this is for her elderly grandfather's benefit; she actually is a cabaret dancer who's boss is not about to let her go.
Mitch develops an attraction for a socialite who he first met when she picked him out on her scavenger hunt when she was looking for a cowboy, though Andy tries to warn him not to get involved with her.
Mitch and Andy pick up Carlos Rodriguez and his girlfriend and take them back to their hometown, where a charity rodeo is planned in which the young man hopes to earn some money so he can marry the girl. But Communists there are stirring up discontent with the Americans, and plan to use Carlos to bring it to a head and make Mitch into the town's symbolic pariah.
Mitch knocks out a man with a lucky punch in a barroom brawl, only to then learn that the man in Tom Kidwell, a contender for world heavyweight champion. The good-hearted Tom is totally forgiving about the incident, but his manager tells him that the upcoming match and his career are both finished unless he fights Mitch and wins---and only by a knockout.
While driving through a town Mitch and Andy almost hit a boy who is running away from his classmates. Soon they learn why: the boy is the son of the manager of the mill which the town depends on for its income. The manager is too risk-averse to reopen the mill after a shutdown of several weeks, and the anger of the townfolk has reached boiling point.