Ex-Olympian has ‘no recollection’ of shooting riding student


A former Olympian equestrian competitor said he suffered a mental break, in part fueled by social media posts that could damage his reputation, before he shot one of his riding students at his New Jersey training facility more than three years ago.

Michael Barisone said he initially experienced “total panic” when he read Lauren Kanarek’s Facebook missives branding him a racist, bully and anti-Semite. He has since denied all allegations raised against him online, adding that he grew increasingly concerned they would ruin his business.

“Everybody says I was unglued,” Barisone said in a new interview for CBS’ “48 Hours” that’s airing Saturday at 10 p.m. “I was unglued.”

It’s the first TV interview Barisone has done about the violence at his New Jersey farm since he was acquitted by reason of insanity back in April. Barisone had faced attempted murder and other charges for the August 2019 shooting of Kanarek, who, at the time, had been living and training horses on the grounds of Barisone’s farm in Long Valley with her fiancé, Michael Goodwin.

Kanarek took the stand during the trial earlier this year and recalled for jurors how her riding coach gunned her down. She said he also tried to shoot Goodwin, but missed.

“Boom, boom, just like that,” she said. “It was almost unreal to me I had gotten shot.”

Kanarek managed to phone 911. She survived the attack after being placed in a medically induced coma and undergoing emergency surgery.

Attorneys for Barisone argued during the legal proceedings that Kanarek subjected Barisone to mental abuse that culminated in the shooting. She was upset, they said, about the amount of training he was willing to provide her and said that she’d been fighting with him for more of his attention.

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Barisone confronted the couple on Aug. 7, 2019, telling them they violated a verbal agreement to leave the property once they were finished with the training. In the moments before the bloodshed, Kanarek and Goodwin had beaten Barisone and had their dog attack him, his attorney said.

When asked whether he shot Kanarek, Barisone responded: “I’m told I did.”

“But I have not recollection of that event,” he continued. “Zero. Nothing.”

Barisone, a member of the 2008 Olympic team and the 1997 gold medal-winning Nations Cup team in Hickstead, England, also coached Olympians and was a member of the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s board of directors.

Kanarek’s father, Johnathan, who also appears in the “48 Hours” episode, blasted jurors for their decision to acquit the high-profile equestrian.

“Michael Barisone should be in state prison for the rest of his life,” he said.

With News Wires Services

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