Oxx, John (1910–87), racehorse trainer, was born 16 January 1910 in Collinstown, Leixlip, Co. Kildare, son of John Oxx, stud groom, and his wife Elizabeth (née Shaw). Educated at Dunboyne national school, he worked on stud farms in the Dunboyne area before obtaining a trainer's licence in 1943. Initially, he based his team at Summerseat, Clonee, and at the Phoenix Park before moving to the Curragh for the 1946 season, when he trained Lady Kells to win the Phoenix Stakes under his long-time first jockey John (‘Jackie’) Power. His first four seasons were as a private trainer to James McVey and then to A. T. Adams. In 1948 he started his long career as a public trainer with just nine horses. In 1949 he purchased a site on the Curragh where he established the famous Currabeg Stables. John Oxx was champion trainer on the flat (prize money) in 1958 and leading trainer (races won) for 1966 and 1967. He trained a total of eight Irish classic winners: Solferino (Irish St Leger 1943); Lynchris, the leading staying filly of her year (Irish Oaks, Irish St Leger 1960); Arctic Storm (Irish 2000 Guineas 1962); Hibernia III (Irish Oaks 1963); Biscayne (Irish St Leger 1964); Merry Mate (Irish Oaks 1966); and Pampalina (Irish Oaks 1967). Arctic Storm (which was beaten by the French-trained Tambourine in a photo-finish for the first ever Irish Sweepstakes Derby) won the Champion Stakes in Newmarket in 1962 and was the champion European three-year-old of that year. Throughout a distinguished career as a leading racehorse trainer, John Oxx enjoyed an unrivalled reputation for integrity – greatly prized in the highly competitive blood-stock industry. He proved his mettle with a steady flow of winners season after season. His particular flair with fillies was evident early on, paving the way for enduring relationships with many leading breeders seeking a proven base for their progeny in training. This close association with stud farms anxious to run their stock on merit meant that Currabeg enjoyed a unique reputation as a non-gambling stable – unlike many of its competitors, which relied on landing regular gambling ‘touches’ to stay ahead of the game. He retired in 1978 and died on 17 April 1987.
John Oxx married (16 April 1947) Mary Ellen (‘Maisie’) Moriarty; they had two children, Elizabeth Mary (‘Marie’) and John M. Oxx. The Oxx mantle was subsequently carried with distinction in the winner's circle by his son (b. 1950), who trained Sinndar from Currabeg for His Highness the Aga Khan – the first ever to win both the Epsom and Irish Derbys and the Arc de Triomphe in 2000.