John T. Oxley (polo)

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John T. Oxley was an American businessman and polo player.[1][2][3]

Biography

Early life

John T. Oxley was born on a cattle farm near Bromide, Oklahoma in 1909.[1] He moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma at the age of seventeen.[1]

Career

In 1935, he started his career at Warren Petroleum, and by 1948 he was secretary to the corporation.[3] He started his own company, Texas Natural Gasoline Corporation and sold it in 1961 to start an exploration company, Oxley Petroleum, with his older son, John C. Oxley.[1] They specialized in natural gas.[3] He sold it to the Allied Corporation (itself later acquired by Honeywell).[3]

Polo

He took up polo at the age of 46.[3] He won two U.S. Open Polo Championships, the USPA Rolex Gold Cup and Silver Cup, the Monty Waterbury Cup, the Sunshine League many times, and twenty-seven medium-goal championships.[1][2] He won the International Gold Cup at 83, the oldest player to do so.[3]

He owned the Royal Palm Polo Club in Boca Raton, Florida.[2][3] He also owned Greenhill Farm, one of the largest commercial producers of polo ponies in the United States, near Owasso, Oklahoma.[1]

Legacy

He is a 2003 honoree of the Hall of Fame of the Tulsa Historical Society.[1] He was inducted into the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame on March 17, 1994.[2] The Mary K. Oxley Nature Center, a wildlife preserve in Mohawk Park, Tulsa, is named for his late wife.[1]

Personal life

He was married to his wife, Mary, from 1935 until her death in 1987.[3] They went horseriding and played polo together.[3] They spent the winter season living in Delray Beach, Florida and the rest of the year their home in Tulsa.[3] One of their sons, Thomas, also played polo, and nearly died from a brain stem injury in 1968, when he lay unconscious for 31 days.[3] They had another son, John C. Oxley, also a polo player, and a daughter, Mary Jane Tritsch.[3]

References