An expansive horse farm in Washington Township, New Jersey, served as the setting for a shooting incident that left talented dressage rider Lauren Kanarek in critical condition. This resulted from an escalating conflict between her and her trainer, Michael Barisone. CBS News’ ’48 Hours: The Shooting of Lauren Kanarek’ focuses on the reasons that led Michael to take the drastic step and what happened to Lauren after. So, if you’re wondering the same, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Lauren Kanarek?
Lauren Kanarek, an award-winning equestrian, seemed to land a golden opportunity in March 2018 when she got a chance to train with Michael Barisone. He had previously trained Olympians and was part of the US Olympic team in 2008. She even lived with her fiancé, Robert Goodwin, in a two-story residence on the farm and had her horses boarded there. But in the following months, the relationship between the trainer and the student turned increasingly toxic, leading to a bloody conclusion.
Sometime after 2 pm on August 7, 2019, Lauren called 911 and said, “Michael Barisone shot me. I’ve been shot twice.” She had two gunshot wounds in the chest. The police arrived to see Robert subduing Michael, and they eventually arrested the latter, rushing Lauren to the hospital. She had to undergo emergency surgery; the bullets had damaged her lung, and she had lost a lot of blood. In the following months, the authorities learned more about the frosty relationship that Lauren and Michael shared. The former said she felt “tossed aside” because she felt Michael didn’t train her enough.
Instead, Lauren was trained by his then-girlfriend, Mary Haskins Gray, and an assistant coach, Justin Harding. Both of them later testified that Lauren was difficult to work with. Then, the point of contention became Lauren purportedly overstaying her welcome at Michael’s farmhouse. She claimed that Michael and Mary had to move into a barn on the property after a flooding. At that point, the two wanted Lauren and Robert to move so they could start living in the two-story house. However, the dressage rider refused.
Furthermore, Lauren used social media to document what was happening and indirectly referred to Michael and Mary. One post said, “I’m being bullied by a 6-foot-3-inch man. 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.” SafeSport is an organization that looks into misconduct in Olympic sports. Lauren alleged that Michael and Mary bullied and body-shamed her, in addition to using scare tactics.
At Michael’s trial in March 2022, Lauren, then 41, testified that she was first shot before Michael fired at Robert, and she initially believed that her fiancé was shot in the head. Lauren then got her phone, called 911, and hit Michael in the face repeatedly. On the stand, she also admitted that Michael had asked her to leave the property twice in 2019 but said it would have been difficult to move her five horses suddenly.
Where is Lauren Kanarek Today?
As per reports, Lauren Kanarek downplayed her use of social media in her conflict with Michael. In the end, he was acquitted of attempting to murder her. As for Lauren, she spent three weeks in the intensive care unit and was in a coma for four days while the doctors treated her. But Lauren woke up to a lot of online vitriol from Michael’s supporters, who blamed her for everything. She added, “They know there is a person suffering multiple gunshot wounds, bullet wounds. To say those things is something no one could ever imagine.”
Over the years, Lauren had to undergo several surgeries and receive more treatments. She is doing much better today and has begun to ride horses again. Lauren has kept her life private ever since the incident, but we know that the dressage rider cares for six horses and two dogs. She also claims to be a political activist. It seems that Lauren currently lives in Summerfield, North Carolina, and visits New York, New Jersey, and Florida. She also sued Michael and his company in October 2019 over the incident. Apart from that, Lauren has been preparing to file a civil suit against her former coach.
Read More: Where is Michael Barisone Now?