In a sagebrush-to-riches story, an adopted wild horse from Idaho's Owyhee Mountains has become the first mustang to win a national endurance riding title.

"Mustang Lady," adopted seven years ago from the Bureau of Land Management by Naomi Tyler of Boise, took the honor after completing a series of riding competitions this fall in Oregon, Texas and Nevada.To qualify for the championship series, a horse-and-rider team must finish in the top 20 percent during the regular-season races. About 120 horses qualified for the series.

Toni Fonseca, director of the American Endurance Riding Conference, said this was the first time a mustang had gained the top honor in any of the three endurance riding divisions.

"The people who ride mustangs are really dedicated and want to show there is a place for wild horses in endurance riding," Fonseca said. "They're definitely earning more respect among horse owners."