A former member of the US Olympic dressage team was charged with attempted murder Thursday after a woman was shot at his equestrian center in rural Morris County, New Jersey. Police responded to the farm belonging to Michael Barisone, 54, on Wednesday afternoon in response to a report of a woman shot. A man was also injured, though not by a gunshot; Barisone was charged with two counts of attempted murder as well as two weapon offenses. He was on the team for the 2008 Beijing games and is now a coach, having trained Olympians including a US bronze medalist from 2016. Though police have not identified the woman, NJ.com cites social media posts and comments, as well as this article from an equestrian publication, that identify her as Lauren Kanarek.
Kanarek, a competitive dressage rider, trained at Barisone Dressage, located at Barisone's Hawthorne Hill farm, and also lived at the facility at least part-time, according to someone who knows her. Last week she had posted on Facebook that she planned to file a report with SafeSport, an organization that collects reports of sexual assault and misconduct in Olympic sports. "I'm being bullied by a 6-foot-3-inch man," the post says. "Bullied to the point I’'m afraid. It’s very complicated—I'm not sure what I can say on here—but it seems as if Safe Sport was created exactly for this reason." She reportedly suffered two gunshot wounds to the chest; USA Today reports she underwent surgery and is in critical condition. (Read more US Olympic athletes stories.)