A man in his 50s is fighting for his life at Waikato Hospital after a horse hoof hit him in the head, leaving him unconscious.
Emergency services were alerted to the incident in Taharoa on the Waikato coast at 3.25pm on Saturday.
A Waikato spokeswoman told the Herald today the man was still in a critical condition at Waikato Hospital's intensive care unit.
The Herald understands the horse had reared up and the hoof came down and struck the man on his head.
Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter intensive care paramedic Chris Deacon said the man had been leading the horse in a farm area with stock.
"He had really serious injuries as a result of that," Deacon said.
"When we arrived there were family and friends there and he was just unconscious on the ground."
The man was sedated at the scene and Deacon's crew performed a rapid sequence intubation (RSI) to assist his breathing.
• New chopper unveiled for rescue squad - bigger, faster and imported from Italy
• In flight error leads to CAA investigation for new $13M rescue helicopter
• Record day for Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopters: 11 missions in 24 hours
• Community 'gutted' over removal of Whitianga-based rescue helicopter
Deacon said animal injuries as a result of human interaction is not uncommon.
"They are often not deliberate, I'd say the horse was properly unfamiliar with him.
"Horses in the area aren't ridden a lot, they are fairly free roaming and don't have much human contact as horses in other areas," Deacon said.
The paramedic said the horse was not in sight when he got there.
"Family seemed very calm when we got there."