Eleven-year-old Dakota Jackson is heartbroken when her Thoroughbred mare, Canyon Starlet, escapes to join Black Coulee's wild herd. One disappointment follows another when Dakota realizes that she will grow too tall to live her dream of becoming a jockey. A year later, when the Jackson family rounds up the wild horses, Star has a beautiful palomino colt. Dakota chooses to keep him, even though her father says that she can have Star's first purebred foal instead. She knows that the colt she calls Lee can never be a racehorse like his mother. Together, they can find something they will both be able to do. Dakota hopes that will be barrel racing. But many barriers stand in the way of that dream.