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A little rain didn’t stop the devoted polocrosse players and supporters from coming out to watch the fourth annual Blue Crab Classic that was free and open to the public over the weekend at Serenity Farm in Benedict.

Polocrosse incorporates the competitive nature of the rider with the skilled level and coordination of maintaining control of a horse and managing precise stick skills.

Families gathered around the farm fields at Serenity Farm to see some of the best the area has to offer in the sport of polocrosse, one of the most premier family sports where parents and children can play on the same team and share some family fun. It’s known as the “king of the one-horse sport” as riders will compete on just one horse throughout a given tournament.

Paul Reppenning, who used to play for Bay Area Polocrosse, or Annapolis Polocrosse Club as it was originally called, made the trip back home to Southern Maryland from Fort Collins, Colo.

Reppenning grew up on Cremona Farm, which is near Mechanicsville in St. Mary’s County, and said polocrosse was the sport that was the most influential in his life and the reason for the move to Colorado.

Reppenning and his fiancée Emily Schou couldn’t wait to see old friends and family at Serenity Farm and he put himself to work as soon as he arrived. He began announcing and getting the crowd involved in the play. Reppenning and Schou are also in town for their wedding that will take place this week.

“I still play a lot and still have great friends that do. My biggest hope is that they keep playing,” Reppenning said. “Polocrosse is a small sport and like any sport, we just want it to grow. We want people to have a good time and make sure it’s still a family sport and to keep getting better horses and to train the horses and keep trying to improve on racket skills.”

Reppenning said he saw great competition in the A Grade especially during the Blue Crab Classic.

“I’ve seen really good sportsmanship out there and safe,” Reppenning said. “Even in the faster games, they’re following the rules and keeping their riders and horses safe and that’s the most important thing.”

The head umpire for the weekend was Chuck Younger, who made the trip up from North Carolina.

Ryan Trueblood of Anne Arundel County, Bay Area rider and team captain for the A Grade team, rode on 16 year old Lena.

“Yesterday was good, wet, but everybody played controlled,” Trueblood said. “It was a little cooler, which was nice. As a team you can see that everyone is moving up and advancing [with their skills]. You can tell it’s a family-oriented sport. A girl on my team [Jessa Russell], her father [Greg Russell] is playing down on another team.”

Trueblood said that Jessa has improved with getting the experience of tournament play.

“Jessa is coming up quick,” Trueblood said. “She has a great horse and she’s a great rider. She’s our 3 today on defense and really stepping up in the tournament and filling a spot.”

Bay Area rider Shaina Taylor was 3 when she sat on her first pony as a birthday gift. She has been playing polocrosse and taking lessons for two years now and was on her horse Cheyenne. Taylor said she needed to address some issues with Cheyenne on Saturday.

“She’s pretty good, but yesterday she was really excited and when I was walking her, her head was down and it was hard to carry her around,” Taylor said. “I just pull her head up when she does that. She puts her head down and shakes it. It’s just a little annoying, but she’s not doing it so much today. Our team is doing good. We’ve only lost one game today and only one yesterday.”

Team results were not available by press time. For more information on Bay Area Polocrosse, call President Linda Harris at 410-212-1635.

tshowalter@somdnews.com