Last Wednesday, 9-year-old Tyler Banks was given the surprise birthday party of his life, one neither he nor his fourth-grade class at Brookside Elementary will ever forget.
It was not long after lunch on an ordinary school day when the elementary class was ushered out to the front of the school.
To their astonishment, the students were greeted by Banks’ hero, the famous Australian horseman Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship.
James, an equine educator and entertainer from New South Wales, is currently working in the United States at Taylor Made Farms in Jessamine County.
“Tyler hade no idea, he was completely surprised,” said Katie Taylor-Marshall of Taylor Made Farms. “His (grandmother) works with us, and we started planning this a while ago.”
James and his assistant, Donal Hancock, also worked with Brookside principal JonAnn Horn weeks beforehand on the logistics of setting up a temporary show ring at the school so they could perform about a 45-minute live-equine show.