Former University Chancellor Stephen R. Portch, 62, knew from a young age that he had to hunt. He specifically Photo by Barbara Portchplanned his career so that it ensured him the ability to one day have his own pack of hounds. The Master of Foxhounds and Huntsman for the Hard Away Whitworth Hounds of Greensboro, AL spends his days attending to the 35 ½ couple crossbred hounds, in addition to advising institutes of higher learning. Portch has generated a fiercely dedicated following, with membership representing five states and perhaps a couple of time zones.
e-Covertside: Tell us a bit about your pack of hounds.
Stephen: We are disciples of Ben Hardaway and the crossbred, with the foundations of our pack being Midland and Fox River Valley bloodlines. Our crossbreds have a little bit of everything in them and our focus is clearly on performance, not beauty.
We also adhere to Hardaway’s dictum: ”Have as much July blood in your pack as you can stand.” And, I like my hounds to be like my favorite singer, Tina Turner. She has the drive, voice, and stamina I want in my pack.