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Andy Bryant is a student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, but is more interested in working with his quarterhorse Billy than in studying. Andy's father Tod expects him to compete with Billy in an inter-collegiate rodeo against George Reeves, Jr., the son of an old rival against whom he has had a long-standing grudge. Andy and his fraternity roommate, Jerry Twill, go to spend Christmas Eve with fellow students Gregg and Polly Johnson, their daughter Jennifer and Laurie Sherman, Andy's girl friend. Laurie's father, Dean Sherman, who is also visiting the Johnsons, informs Andy that he has just barely passed his exams and therefore remains eligible to compete in the rodeo. Andy's father stops by and is concerned about the precariousness of Andy's academic standing as he is supporting him in school only so he can compete against George. Andy has bought the Johnsons a television set for Christmas, and they all gather round it to watch a special Christmas show. When classes resume after the holidays, Andy and Laurie have a fight, and she returns his fraternity pin. Andy continues to train with Billy. One day, in chemistry class, Andy messes up an experiment, causing a beaker to explode into Gregg's eyes. Gregg is hospitalized and is in danger of losing his sight. When Andy tells Dean Sherman that he intends to leave the university and offers money to assist Gregg, the dean suggests that Andy could assist Gregg more by helping him to keep up with his classes, and persuades him to stay. Andy arranges for Gregg's professors to make wire recordings of their lectures for him, and Gregg struggles to finish his courses. One morning, while Andy is studying, local businessmen Elkins and Sharpe come to the fraternity house looking for Jerry, who has been promoting a shopping guide publication. They claim that Jerry has swindled Tucson merchants out of $1,000. Although Jerry states that the printer of the guide went bankrupt, losing all the money, Elkins says that they will file suit to recover their money from him. As Jerry has been helping Andy with Gregg, Andy tells them that he will get their money and arranges to sell Billy. Andy's father, meanwhile, makes a $20,000 bet with George's father that Andy will win the quarterhorse race, and afterward, they become involved in a fistfight. Later, Andy goes to turn in a paper he has typed for Gregg as part of a fellowship application, and is rounded up by some students who are involved in a "Western Week" stunt. As he is not wearing western dress, Andy is lassoed and put in a calaboose, where his father finds him. Andy is compelled to tell his father what has happened and that he has sold Billy. Meanwhile, Laurie begins dating George Reeves, Jr. Gregg recovers his sight and learns that he has won the fellowship. Tod tries to reunite his son with Laurie, but Reeves interferes. On the opening day of the annual inter-collegiate rodeo in which various southwestern universities compete, Andy and George both lose the bucking bronco competition. The next day, Andy learns that his father has recovered Billy and that he will be competing against George in a match race using stock saddles. As the boys's fathers anxiously encourage them, George tells Andy that he already has a girl friend and that he should make up with Laurie, which he does. Andy wins the race, although both fathers miss seeing it, as they are too occupied arguing to pay attention. They realize that they have been foolish and dissolve their long-standing feud.