Richard C. Porter II, better known as Rick, died on June 6, 2021, at Christiana Hospital at the age of 80, after courageously battling cancer for nearly two decades.
Rick was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on June 15, 1940, to Elizabeth and William H. Porter. He attended Ursuline Academy and went on to graduate from The Tower Hill School in 1958, and continued his studies at the University of Delaware and American University. In 1960, he joined the Army and served 13 months in S. Korea. He was stationed at Ft. Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, where he met the love of his life, Betsy, who was from nearby Aiken, South Carolina.
Rick then joined his father in the automobile business at Porter Chevrolet in Newark, started by his grandfather in 1925. He went on to grow the family business and at one point, owned twelve dealerships throughout Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.
Rick grew up fascinated with horse racing and his parents would frequently take him to Delaware Park as a young child. His love of thoroughbred racing led to the launch of Fox Hill Farm Stable in 1994. Horse racing became his true passion in life, and his stable campaigned 20 graded stakes horses and multiple champions, including Havre de Grace, Songbird, Omaha Beach and Eight Belles, to name a few. Rick became well-known in the world of racing, running in many Triple Crown races, as well as winning three Breeder’s Cup races. Equally noteworthy as his list of outstanding horses was his stewardship over his stable. He believed in taking care of his horses, first and foremost, which led to his founding of the National Thoroughbred Welfare Organization (NTWO). To date, and as part of his legacy, the NTWO, has found new homes for over 250 at-risk horses. Rick’s Fox Hill Farm has become synonymous with the ethical ownership of thoroughbred race horses.
Rick was very involved in several charities, many of which benefit our veterans. In the 2013 Kentucky Derby, he hosted four WWII veterans as his guests to see his horse, Normandy Invasion, “Run for the Roses.” Perhaps fitting, Rick passed away on the anniversary of D-Day, to which he named several horses to honor that heroic battle.
Rick was a loving and devoted husband and father. He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Betsy, and three children: Cory Porter (Leslie Porter), Tracey Aleman (John Aleman), and Scott Porter (Inci Porter.) He is also survived by 7 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org)