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The Kidds of Tocal

"At home amongst the stock"

John Kidd(2)

The commitment of the Kidds to the cattle and horses is difficult to describe and fully comprehend. We can imagine them tending sick stock late at night by the light of a candle or lamp, or proudly looking after stud animals for long hours at the many shows at which Tocal exhibited. In the words of a contemporary observer, they truly were "at home amongst the stock".

Right: John Kidd (2) 1847-1903.


Judy White records the following family stories:

Goldsbrough

'In 1903 the famous stallion Goldsborough (sic) lay down in his box at Tocal. Frank Reynolds went to the stables to see how the old horse was faring only to find John Kidd was seated amongst the straw with Goldsborough's head in his lap. "Why don't you put him out of his misery and shoot him?" asked Reynolds. "Shoot him!" replied John, "I would no more shoot him than I would one of my own children."'

Right: The famous Goldsbrough, favourite of John Kidd

'Throughout this tense period (1920-1926 (ed.)), the loyalty of the Kidd family remained steadfast to Tocal and the Reynolds family. William Kidd's son, Vince, took over from his Uncle John in preparing the thoroughbred horses. In December 1920, Bert Kidd died. His nephew, Aubrey Kidd, who had lived at Tocal as a child, returned to the estate in charge of the stud cattle. He remembered clearly the days when he had to muck out the barns. In the barn was Twyfold Hero, the champion bull and his brother Twyfold George. There was a terrific storm and Aubrey raced from the barn to shelter. As he did so, he stood the pitchfork in the hay, in the passage. Seconds later, there was a strike of lightning. After the storm abated Kidd returned to the bull boxes to find Twyfold George dead. The bull had been struck by lightning and Aubrey Kidd blamed himself that his pitchfork might have been the conductor. This story has been passed down through the Kidd family, revealing the deep concern that the stud grooms held for their stock. Aubrey Kidd later led Twyfold Hero to be the Hereford champion of the Royal Easter Show in Sydney for five consecutive years from 1920 to 1925.'

Below: Twyfold Hero at the 1921 Sydney Show

Twyfold Hero

Like to know more? Buy the book! This web exhibition is based on the book "At Home Amongst the Stock": The Kidds of Tocal [details]