SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Lyon of the Week honor has been announced for the week ending March 1st and senior rider Abby Raucher has been awarded top honors. She posted a pair of blue ribbons to help lead the Lyons to victory in their home show on February 28.
Raucher, who is a native of Easthampton, Mass., rode to first-place finishes in her Open Fences and Open Flat sections. Her wins qualified her for High Point honors, where she squared off against two other riders, claiming the top honor of High Point Rider for the show. Raucher’s efforts helped Mount Holyoke not only win the show, but also increase its point lead in the region to 47 points.
In six regional shows, Mount Holyoke has come out on top in each. Raucher has helped lead the way, finishing third or better over six different rides. Among her top performances was at the Lyons’ second home show during the fall, where she won her sections in Open Fences and Open Flat on her way to garnering High Point Rider honors.
Raucher, who is a graduate of Easthampton High School, also helped spark a solid effort for MHC during the four-event Tournament of Champions series. In the Preseason opener, she placed Honorable Mention in the Medal Round. Raucher went on to finish second in the Open Flat at the Holiday Tournament of Champions and fifth in Open Flat at both the Winter I and Winter II TOC’s. As a team, the Lyons were the series Reserve Champions.
A hard-working rider for the Lyons over the last four years, Raucher posted seven rides in the top-five during the 2013-14 season, including wins in Intermediate Fences and Intermediate Flat at the MHC Home Show in late fall. During her sophomore campaign, Raucher won five events, including the national title in Novice Equitation Over Fences at the 2013 IHSA National Championships.
Raucher had an outstanding first year as well, winning four events throughout the season. She went on to finish third in Intermediate Flat during the team competition at IHSA Nationals in 2012.
Mount Holyoke returns to action on Saturday when it heads to Amherst to compete in the co-hosted Sycamore Show.
Photo of Raucher courtesy of Doug Keller.