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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

The Clydie cross a policewoman just couldn't leave behind

ABOVE: Tiffany Williams and Toby, captured by Sydney Morning Herald photographer Steven Siewert.

THE Clydesdale cross is one of the most popular of the performance cross breeds and Second Chance, by Diana Thurgood, is a story that will appeal to the many who are lucky enough to own one, as well as anyone who cheers them on from the sidelines.  

It tells of the impulse buy of a starving two-year-old half Clydesdale that was destined for the knackery but went on to become one of the best-loved police horses in NSW.

Mounted Police officer Tiffany Williams spotted an advertisement for a horse in the local paper in northern NSW – a Clydesdale-cross for a price almost too good to be true. It was a hot summer’s day, but on a whim, she and her husband drove out to see him.

Arriving at a drought-stricken farm, they bought the well-priced horse, but they also discovered his brother, Toby – a badly neglected, ungainly gelding bound for the knackery.

At first they left him there, but after a sleepless night, thinking of what awful things they had seen, they went back and bought him too out of pity.

A split-second decision sparked an astonishing journey from a hellish life in a desolate paddock to a flourishing career within the esteemed stables of the Mounted Police.

This is a story about an extraordinary bond between a horse and the woman who cared for him, revealing the power and the potential of a simple second chance.

Toby’s temperament shone through and under Tiffany’s care, Toby became an absolute star in the eyes of the public, and eventually – despite not meeting the strict protocols of the Mounted Police Unit – a police hero.

But their journey didn’t end there.

The dynamic duo, now retired, are based in Bilpin, embracing the tranquillity of the Blue Mountains where they’ve become cherished members of the local community.

The author is also based in this region and has, through this book, given an insight into her friendship with Toby and Tiffany over the past 15 years.

The story is well told and supported with good photos, so any horse lover – those who ride at elite level, or those whose favourite thing is to just hang out with their horse – will like it.


Second Chance

By Diana Thurgood

Release date: January 30, 2024

Paperback: $32.99

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