Trophy Room a Must for Fox Hill Farm Owners

An artful blend of traditional rooms and open spaces make this space appealing.


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Left to right: Just outside the entrance to the trophy room, a bar and display area serve as an anteroom, a transitional space that is ideal for entertaining. The Porters’ trophy room is where they exhibit Fox Hill Farm’s many horse racing awards and mementos. The trophy room showcases saddle towels, as well as the silver, bronze and crystal trophies earned by Fox Hill Farm thoroughbreds. 

Rick and Betsy Porter went house hunting with a unique wish list: a first-floor master suite, a bit of land—and a trophy room to display some of the loftiest accolades in thoroughbred racing.

The Porters are the owners of Fox Hill Farm, whose champions include a Horse of the Year, two Kentucky Derby runners-up and eight Eclipse finalists.

They entrusted their quest for a new house to their son, Scott, founder of Porter Construction Inc. in Chadds Ford, Pa., and an experienced real-estate agent. The younger Porter showed his parents dozens of homes and determined that the property that suited them best was his own home, an elegant country house in a sylvan setting.

“All that was missing was the trophy room,” Scott recalls.

In the Porters’ previous home, that space was located in a walkout basement. It was impressive, but seldom visited because it was separated from the first- floor living area.

For their new home, Scott suggested his parents construct a main-floor trophy room. In addition to providing display space for Fox Hill Farm’s awards and mementos, the trophy room would serve as an inviting gathering place. 

 

The Game Plan

Scott drew up the plans for the original house, a layout that artfully blends traditional rooms and open spaces. To come up with the blueprints to seamlessly integrate a trophy room with the main structure, he turned to architect Richard Buchanan of Archer Buchanan in West Chester, Pa.

The plan included razing a bathroom to provide access to the addition. An adjacent guest bedroom would become an office for Rick.

For most of the construction process, the elder Porters stayed at their winter home in Florida. Scott emailed pictures to update them.

“Betsy and I have done a lot of projects, and this was by far the easiest because Scott took care of everything,” Rick says.

 

Seamless Transition

A priority was ensuring that the trophy room felt and functioned like the space was part of the house rather than an add-on.

Outside, the addition integrates a large patio and dining area, accessed through French doors.

Inside, a bar and display area serve as an anteroom that is ideal for entertaining.

“This space works just as well for 35 people as it does for two,” Rick says.

The floor is paved with Chicago bricks, reclaimed from an industrial site. A beverage fridge and icemaker are hidden behind raised-panel cabinetry. The red-and-white silks of Fox Hill Farm are displayed in a glass-fronted shadow box. Over the bar, there’s a portrait of renowned rider Ramon Dominguez in jodhpurs and an English-style jockey’s cap.

 

Winning Combination

To ease the flow of guests, there are two doors leading into the trophy room, positioned on either side of the bar. 

The walls are outfitted with lighted custom cabinets to showcase the silver, bronze and crystal trophies earned by Fox Hill Farm thoroughbreds. A dozen saddle towels from landmark races are hung on rods, including the one worn by the filly Eight Belles when she collapsed after finishing second in the Kentucky Derby. 

To date, the crown of the collection is the trophy earned by Fox Hill’s speedy bay filly Havre de Grace in 2011, when she was named Horse of the Year. 

“That is an honor that probably only comes once in a lifetime,” Rick says.

Havre de Grace’s portrait hangs over the mantel. The artist is Andre Pater, one of America’s foremost equestrian painters. Pater also painted the portraits of the jockey Dominguez and Hard Spun, the colt who placed second in both the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Typically, Pater has a 15-year waiting list for his talents but has made exceptions for the Porters.

“I think he took a liking to Betsy,” Rick says with a smile.

 

Designer Details

Scott attributes his affinity for design to his mother, who has been creating beautiful interiors for the Porters throughout 52 years of marriage. She discovered the reeded antique fireplace mantel on a trip to Lexington, Ky., and shipped it home.

“We built this room around the mantel,” Scott says.

Large structural beams give the room a sense of age. The coved ceiling is made from tongue-and-groove planks. The floors are hand-scraped hickory, accented with square plugs. 

The interior of a large lantern chandelier is painted in Fox Hill Farm’s red, a subtle echo of the crimson textured coverings on the walls.

“Those small details are what really pull a room together,” Scott says.

The Porters furnished the space with a comfortable blend of seating: a pair of cozy sofas, club chairs upholstered in an equestrian print, and two tufted leather chairs accented with nail heads.

They ordered the furniture through Conaty Interiors in Wilmington, where they were able to create custom pieces by combining various fabrics, legs and trims. Scott designed the beige linen draperies.

The result is an inviting room the Porters enjoy every day.

“My favorite times are when it’s just Betsy and me and our two little dogs, cuddled up on the sofa watching TV,” Rick says. “For me, that’s the best place in the world.”    

GET THE LOOK
  • Reinterpret the classics. Scott Porter tapped his inner designer to create a stately home that blends the grandeur of yesterday with a flow that suits a modern family.
     
  • Find fresh uses for materials. Barn wood is reborn as a counter-top on a powder-room vanity. Beams from a movie set are used in an archway in a lower-level gathering space. Kitchen cabinets salvaged after a fire are repainted and installed in a laundry room.
     
  • Shop around. The owners found limestone marble with the look and heft of a European import at a much more accessible price point.
     
  • Explore variations on a theme. The owners chose Calcutta marble, polished nickel sconces and fixtures, and gray walls for their bathrooms, then mixed it up by picking stone in various shapes and sizes, a variety of faucets and lighting, and grays in different shades. 
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Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
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Cost: free

Where:
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

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Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 302-656-6466
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A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

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A newly acquired cabinet at Winterthur and related objects in the collection emerge as tools in the lucrative business of transatlantic trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. Curated by graduate...

Cost: free with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

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Story Time Thursdays 10:30 - 11 a.m. Enjoy fun animal stories read by our own zoo story-telling team! Story time takes place in the otter circle, in the main zoo, and may include a craft,...

Cost: $7 - $0

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
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Telephone: 302-571-7747
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Charity Golf Event to benefit Children's Beach House A great way to start your Memorial Day weekend a day early! Make sure to register as a single golfer or register your foursome ahead of...

Cost: $225 Single Golfer / $900 Foursome

Where:
Peninsula on Indian River Bay
26937 Bay Farm Rd.
Millsboro, DE  19966
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Sponsor: The Ocean Atlantic Companies
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Crooked Hammock Brewery is celebrating the unofficial start of summer all Memorial Day weekend! The festivities kick off on Thursday, May 24th with the release of their two summer seasonal beers,...

Cost: Free to attend

Where:
Crooked Hammock Brewery
36707 Crooked Hammock Way
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: Crooked Hammock Brewery
Telephone: 302-644-7837
Contact Name: Jon
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Join us on The Patio, voted Best Outdoor Dining by Delaware Today readers! Happy hour 4PM - 6:30PM, live entertainment 6PM - 9PM, local craft beer, handcrafted cocktails, creative gastropub menu,...

Cost: menu items vary

Where:
Hilton Christiana
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
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Relax and unwind after a long day with the Museum’s popular Happy Hour series. Enjoy live music on the terrace with friends or tour the galleries indoors. Special themed nights will be scheduled...

Cost: Museum galleries are open with free admission every Thursday from 4–8 pm

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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  Join Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant as they open their doors to the public on May 24, 2018!  

Cost: Free

Where:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
19815 Coastal Hwy
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
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Sponsor: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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Alexi Natchev: Prints and Drawings will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from May 4-25, 2018. A free opening reception to meet the artist will be held on Friday, May 4 from 5-7 p.m. Alexi...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
2nd Floor, Carvel State Office Building
820 N. French St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8283
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
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Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
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Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

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Mary Pritchard is an award winning pastel artist from Chestertown, Maryland. Following a career in education administration at the University of Delaware, Mary returned to painting full-time....

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

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GUARDIANS OF THE IMAGE MAKER Group Exhibition & Programs Commemorating The 1968 Riots April 6 - June 29, 2018 Opening reception: Friday, April 6, 2018                      5 - 9 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

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THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

A newly acquired cabinet at Winterthur and related objects in the collection emerge as tools in the lucrative business of transatlantic trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. Curated by graduate...

Cost: free with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through a story reading followed by an interactive tour of relevant works of art and a studio art project. This program encourages...

Cost: Free to Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Crooked Hammock Brewery is celebrating the unofficial start of summer all Memorial Day weekend! The festivities kick off on Thursday, May 24th with the release of their two summer seasonal beers,...

Cost: Free to attend

Where:
Crooked Hammock Brewery
36707 Crooked Hammock Way
Lewes, DE  19958
View map »


Sponsor: Crooked Hammock Brewery
Telephone: 302-644-7837
Contact Name: Jon
Website »

More information

  Join Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant as they open their doors to the public on May 24, 2018!  

Cost: Free

Where:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
19815 Coastal Hwy
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
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Sponsor: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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Meeting every Friday, Bayhealth Kent General Hospital, 640 s. State Street, Dover, 7:30 pm., Private Dining Room #3 in the basement. For those who have, or think they may have a gambling problem....

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Bayhealth Kent General Hospital
640 S. State Street
Private Dining Room #3
Dover, DE  19901
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Telephone: 800-855-2CALLGA
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Sixth annual St. Catherine of Siena Community Garage Sale held in Church parking lot. One-stop shopping! Approximately 25 homes gather in one location to make your garage sale shopping...

Cost: $25/Consignors ONLY

Where:
St. Catherine of Siena Parish Parking Lot
2503 Centerville Road
Wilmington, DE  19808
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Sponsor: St. Catherine of Siena
Telephone: 302-239-1699
Contact Name: Mary Gispert
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The 11th annual Artisans Fair, featuring unique handcrafted art objects, will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 26, at Lord Baltimore Elementary School on Route 26 in Ocean View, DE. ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lord Baltimore Elementary School
Route 26
Ocean View, DE  19970
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Sponsor: South Coastal DE AARP Chapter
Telephone: 302-732-6336
Contact Name: Ida Crist
Website »

More information

A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

GUARDIANS OF THE IMAGE MAKER Group Exhibition & Programs Commemorating The 1968 Riots April 6 - June 29, 2018 Opening reception: Friday, April 6, 2018                      5 - 9 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

A newly acquired cabinet at Winterthur and related objects in the collection emerge as tools in the lucrative business of transatlantic trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. Curated by graduate...

Cost: free with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Crooked Hammock Brewery is celebrating the unofficial start of summer all Memorial Day weekend! The festivities kick off on Thursday, May 24th with the release of their two summer seasonal beers,...

Cost: Free to attend

Where:
Crooked Hammock Brewery
36707 Crooked Hammock Way
Lewes, DE  19958
View map »


Sponsor: Crooked Hammock Brewery
Telephone: 302-644-7837
Contact Name: Jon
Website »

More information

Science Saturday – River Rangers River Rangers learn how to gauge the health of our local waterways by observing the variety of critters living in it. Visitors of all ages are invited to...

Cost: Activities are included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE
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Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 65802400 x 238
Contact Name: Jessica Eisenbrey
Website »

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