2020-01-08 wcat-mazi

Mazi is one of the friendliest, most affectionate horses at Swingin’ D. She loves being around people and she loves being loved and rubbed. She’s broke to ride and working hard on her skills with trainers. PHOTO COURTESY SWINGIN D RANCH

Tami Marler has been Miss Oklahoma, a television station news anchor, an Oklahoma Outlaw football cheerleader, worked in a mortgage bank and now rescues discarded horses.

The rescue is needed since most of the horses would be destined to slaughter for meat products.

Marler and her husband, Danny Elliott, have a rescue facility between downtown Coweta and Broken Arrow just off Highway 51. The website about the facility shows horses saved and the mission statement about what they are trying to accomplish.

The mission statement reads: “Choke off the corrupt, corrosive slaughter pipeline at both ends — by creating more responsible horse owners through education and training; and reducing the number of unwanted horses by advocating for restricted breeding and mandatory gelding.”

Her Swingin’ D Horse Rescue has many success stories, too. Horses are saved. Horses find new homes.

Still, there is always more work to do.

“Tami Marler is doing God’s work. Saving horses is part of her nature,” said Richard Linihan, former turf writer for the Tulsa Tribune and the Tulsa World who currently works at Remington Park racetrack in Oklahoma City.

“She has such a big heart. She also adopts them out once she has rehabilitated them and only once she has vetted the prospective new owner. But saving them is 99 percent of her goal and that’s what makes her place so special,” Linihan said. “I encourage anyone to donate to help her cause. She is prevalent on Facebook, if you want to help save a life.”

Linihan is right. It is expensive to keep these abandoned horses and this couple does their best to meet and exceed basic care needs.

If you feel inclined to donate, here is how: Swingin’ D Horse Rescue is a 501©3 private operating foundation. Donations made to the rescue – whether in the form of cash, land, tools, grain or other benefits – are tax deductible.

Swingin’ D also has shopping lists published at certain farm supply stores for those who prefer to know exactly where their money is going. They provide the highest quality intensive care and training to the horses saved. The more they collect in donations, the higher level of care they can provide.

There is even a back story to how this got started from the Swingin’ D website.

Swingin’ D Horse Rescue is named after Danny Elliott, an investigator with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office. Danny tried for years to talk Tami into moving to the country in Wagoner County. He commuted more than an hour-and-a-half round-trip between Tulsa and Wagoner County, every day for years. That’s because Tami worked and cared for her parents in Tulsa, so she resisted the move.

Danny’s perseverance finally paid off one summer day in 2015, when he drove Tami to look at a gorgeous 12-acre piece of property that would one day be the Swingin’ D.

Even after they purchased the ranch, it took a while for Danny to talk Tami into actually moving there and giving up her Tulsa home (two blocks from her parents), but they had a place in Wagoner where he could crash and avoid the long commute.

That’s how the ranch came to be known as “The D.” It was mostly Danny’s hangout until he finally talked Tami into taking the leap.

After working in mortgage banking for several years, Danny made a major life change. Tired of the workaday world and in the midst of the mortgage collapse, he decided to live his second lifelong dream of being a police officer.

Danny and Tami sacrificed a lot when he left mortgage banking for 19 weeks of law enforcement training and his first job as a school resource officer.

After several years in public schools, he took an undercover position with Wagoner County. For months, he hung out in Wagoner County’s establishments pretending to drink and do drugs.

Months of Danny posing as a grubby, drug-seeking street rat paid off – landing a dozen drug dealers behind bars.

When the sheriff pulled Danny off the streets, he assigned him to one of Wagoner County’s most baffling cold cases – the murder of Broken Arrow High School graduate, Jarret Clark. Danny immersed himself in the case file. He found witnesses that had never been interviewed and discovered evidence that had never been examined. In the ID Channel’s “Swamp Murders”, Danny describes the investigation that led to three convictions.

Other investigators with decades of experience took their shot at solving the case, but it took Danny’s unique perspective and experience to finally bring the killers to justice.

Since that first murder case, Danny has solved multiple murders and other major crimes. He would never accept credit for himself, but it’s clear he has a gift for law enforcement. He definitely made the right call when he decided to chase a lifelong dream.

Soon after Danny and Tami met for the first time at a bank where they both worked in the ’80s, Danny lived his first dream. A gifted singer and songwriter, Danny was the lead singer in a popular Christian rock band. Mullet and all, he built quite a following singing in churches and venues across the country. Tens of thousands of fans still listen to his music through the magic of YouTube.

Now, the couple is saving horses from certain death by offering a place to live and eventually be adopted out.

If you are interested in helping the Swingin’ D and its goal of saving horses, go to the website to find out how to donate at https://swingindhorserescue.com/our-horses/.