Read an Excerpt
"Ladies and Gentlemen. The Lady Bucking Horse Champion of Montana! Fannieeee....Sperry!"
The roar of Helena's Fourth of July crowd accompanied Fannie to the platform in front of Central Park grandstand at the Lewis and Clark Anniversary Celebration. Clasping both arms above her head in a victory salute, she looked out over the faces of her fellow Montanans. Those who had cheered her for years now applauded their new state champion. A judge pinned a small gold medal to the knot of her neckerchief and shook her hand earnestly. "I've known a lot of fine bronc riders, Fannie, but you're the best." The other judges, too, stepped forward and clasped her hand. "Congratulations, Fannie."
Fannie felt a lump rising in her throat. No use pretending this was just another exhibition. These were her people, Montanans, declaring her their state champion. Walter and Christine broke through the crowd around the platform, followed by Rachel and Datus. When she saw her mother's misty eyes, she had to blink back her own tears. "Ma, I want you to have this." She took the medal from her scarf and pinned it on Rachel's dress collar. "You're the real champion of Montana." Rachel held her head high with pride, happy tears streaming.