Former Olympian Michael Barisone Charged With Attempted Murder Of Woman Who Reported Him To SafeSport

The details are still emerging.

Who Is Michael Barisone? New Details On Former Olympian In Custody After Shooting Woman At His Dressage Facility Event Clinics 

The world of horse dressage isn't one that many people know intimately. In order to care for horses and compete actively in the activity, you need to be a pretty wealthy person and not many of us are "own my own stables" wealthy. The idea of spending a day with a horse sounds like something restful and luxurious, but it turns out that it might be anything but. When a shooting took place at an equestrian center in New Jersey, the local community was shocked and reached out immediately to Michael Barisone. Who is Michael Barisone? He's the man who owns the center and who is believed by many to be the primary suspect in the shooting. 


1. The News 

On Wednesday, a woman at a high-end equestrian facility in Morris County, New Jersey was shot in the chest, according to authorities who. According to those sources, one person was already arrested in connection with the shooting. Countless emergency officials arrived at the scene the afternoon of the shooting. A place like the equestrian center where this shooting took place isn't exactly a likely location for this kind of attack, which is part of what makes this particular crime so shocking. After responding to the scene, authorities remarked that the woman was transported, alive, to the hospital.


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2. Not Enough Details 

Although the attack was a shocking one and it was quickly picked up by many local news outlets, it took days before the details behind the shooting came into focus in a way that made any sort of sense. But when the police issued a press release about the crime on Wednesday evening, they weren't in a place where they were prepared to reveal any really relevant details. The information they were willing to release didn't really provide any sort of explanation about what happened, nor did the police share their suspicions. They said that a person was shot around 2:15 in the afternoon, and that a second person was injured and that the second person was a suspect in the shooting. 

3. Welcome To Hawthorne Farm 

The equestrian center where all of this took place is called Hawthorne Farm, it's a 53-acre piece of land that sits surrounded by other local farms. The property has a home on its grounds and the Barisone Dressage, which is owned and run by a man named Michael Barisone, who, interestingly was a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic dressage team. Reporters spent most of the day on Wednesday trying to get a hold of Michael.  When they failed to do so it was time to face the obvious: maybe Michael was directly involved in the crime himself. 


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4. Michael Barisone's Work 

The police investigation, according to locals, mostly took place at Michael's home. In the 11 years since the 2008 Olympics, Michael has remained active in the world of dressage. He makes his living offering horse-riding clinics at two different locations in New Jersey and Florida. In addition to being an Olympic contender not so long ago, Michael's roster of clients is pretty impressive. He has trained a vast array of prominent riders in the field, including Olympian Allison Brock who took the bronze medal in 2016.  

5. Is It Lauren Kanarek?

Eventually, the police could no longer keep a lid on the emerging details about the shooting. A woman named Rosanna Williams came forward on Facebook to share the news that the victim of the shooting was a dressage rider named Lauren Kanarek. “I am posting this with permission from Lauren’s dad. To keep the rumors down, Lauren was shot earlier today. She is out of surgery, but not out of the woods yet. She made it through surgery, and she made it through the night. She is, I believe, in critical condition," she shared with friends of her own and presumably with friends of Lauren, too. 


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6. Not Ready To Name Names 

According to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, there is a suspect in custody, but because they have not filed formal charges against this suspect, they are not comfortable releasing either the victim's name or the alleged suspect's name. Regardless, multiple people have come forward naming Michael as the primary suspect in the case. The Prosecutor's Office did not deny that Michael was a suspect, but they wouldn't confirm it either. When this news is combined with the fact that Lauren Kanarek complained about a grown man bullying her, the picture it paints is less than ideal. 

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.