USA Team Rider Michael Barisone Indicted on Two Charges of Attempted Murder

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Michael Barisone in custody in New Jersey on two counts of attempted murder.

Dec. 19, 2019

Michael Barisone, reserve for the United States dressage team at the 2008 Olympics, has been indicted on two charges of first degree attempted murder in the shooting in August of a woman he had been coaching at his New Jersey farm.

The 55-year-old Michael, who was also coach of a combination on the American 2016 bronze medal Olympic team, will remain in custody in Morris County about 40 miles/65km west of New York City while prosecutors prepare for trial.

If convicted, first degree attempted murder carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Michael was indicted in the shooting of Lauren Kanarek at his Hawthorne Hill farm in Long Valley in August. He shot her twice in the chest and, according to the indictment, also shot at but missed her fiance, Rob Goodwin. He also operated an equestrian facility in Loxahatchee, a community neighboring Wellington, Florida.

He was also indicted on two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

The shootings by a pink and black Ruger 9mm handgun came after an alleged landlord-tenant dispute.

Lauren, originally from New Jersey but was based in North Carolina, underwent extensive medical treatment for the bullet wounds.

She is suing Michael, his Sweetgrass Farms company and several others for “emotional and physical distress,” alleging harassment and allowing a firearm on the property.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport has declared Michael ineligible to participate in equestrian activities under the jurisdiction of the U.S. federation. The SafeCenter site described the grounds as “criminal disposition/subject to appeal/not yet final.”

Michael was a member of the U.S. team at the 2008 Olympics where equestrian competition was staged in Hong Kong, but did not ride as teams were restricted to three combinations. He coached Allison Brock on the U.S. team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro that won bronze. He also coached U.S. eventing team riders in dressage for the 2012 Olympics in London.