Prosecuting Authorities Charge Olympian Michael Barisone With Two Counts of Attempted Murder

Long Valley, NJ. – Aug. 8, 2019 – Olympian Michael Barisone is in custody and charged with two counts of attempted murder and weapons offenses following a shooting incident that occurred at his facility, Hawthorne Hill, located in Long Valley, New Jersey, Wednesday, Aug. 7. The Pretrial Detention hearing for Michael Barisone has been scheduled for Wednesday, August 14 at 9 am before Judge Stephen Taylor in the Morris County Courthouse.

“As a result of the investigation into this incident, the Defendant was charged with two counts of
Attempted Murder, crimes of the first degree, and two counts of Possession of a Weapon for an
Unlawful Purpose, crimes of the second degree,” announced Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Acting Chief of Investigations Christoph Kimker, and Chief Jeffrey Almer of the Washington Township Police.

Michael Barisone and Neruda. Photo by Sue Stickle.

According to investigators, on Aug. 7, they received a 9-1-1 call requesting service at approximately 2:13 p.m. and police were dispatched to 411 West Mill Road. The Washington Township Police Department responded quickly, took the suspect into custody and secured the scene. Law enforcement located one female who had sustained what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds. Barisone and a second male were also located on the scene, and a handgun was recovered.

Lauren Kanarek, a client of Barisone who allegedly traded housing for dressage training and lessons, was shot twice in the chest. Kanarek underwent surgery at the Morristown Medical Center but is still considered in critical condition. The violent dispute reportedly involved Kanarek, her fiance Robert Guy Goodwin and Barisone.

Barisone was a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Dressage Team as a traveling alternate for the Beijing Olympic Games and he has over 100 CDI Grand Prix wins under his belt. Earlier in his career, he won a team gold medal at the Hickstead Nations Cup in 1997 and in 2009, he was named the Sportsman International Horseman of the Year. Barisone has remained involved in the sport as a member of the USEF Board of Directors for many years as well as taught clinics for a youth pilot program by US Equestrian. He has also continued to coach students, including Olympian Allison Brock, to medals and high placings in international competition.

From outside of the equestrian community, Barisone is well-known for hosting Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report for a two-part video series promoting their dressage as the “official sport of the summer”. Barisone coached Stephen Colbert through a series of movements, including piaffe, on Mike Oyson’s Hanoverian mare Conchita.

Kanarek is a USDF Bronze Medalist and most recently competed at the ESDCTA Summer Days national show in Gladstone, New Jersey, at Third and Fourth Level. She received the USDF First Level Rider Performance Award in 2017 and competed in the GAIG/USDF Region 1 Dressage Championships the same year with the now 20-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Symphony.


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