A MAN is critically ill in hospital after he was dragged over 500 metres by a runaway horse in Northern Ireland.
Simon Fleming, who is aged in his 40s, suffered serious head injuries after being pulled by a horse that bolted in Coleraine, Co. Derry on Saturday.
Emergency services were called to the scene on Pates Lane at around 5.20pm.
An air ambulance was scrambled to the scene and landed in a nearby car park after paramedics worked to save his life for over an hour.
Mr Fleming was transported to a Co. Derry hospital where he remains in a critical condition.
It is understood that he was working with the horse in a field when it bolted after being spooked by a barking dog.
"He was strapped to the horse, he had only just wrapped the harness around his hand when it just bolted," a neighbour told the Belfast Telegraph.
"He was dragged a considerable distance and the horse was kicking out as well."
Local SDLP councillor Stephanie Quigley said she was praying for Mr Fleming and his family.
She said: "I grew up in the same area as Simon and went to the same primary school, what happened to him this weekend is nothing short of horrendous.
"My parents and I prayed for him after Sunday lunch and I would like to extend my thoughts and sincere sympathy to Simon and the rest of the family."