A Taihape man, whose cattle dog rescued him from a bull attack, has been released from hospital.
The dog is being hailed a hero after standing up to the enraged bull that had thrown the musterer from his saddle then repeatedly attacked him.
Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter pilot Chris Moody said the musterer, aged in his 30s, considered himself lucky his dog Fonz defended him and horse Black Betty by standing up to the charging bull and preventing any further injury.
Moody said both horse and rider were thrown violently to the ground by the force of the attack while mustering about midday yesterday at Siberia Station west of Taihape.
"Black Betty then bolted as her rider scrambled helplessly on the ground trying to avoid the angry cattle beast that continued to pursue him," Moody said.
"Luckily Fonz the faithful dog came to the rescue and stood his ground protecting his fallen master from further injury."
Although it was not known what made the bull see red, Moody said it had "to be pretty serious for a cattle beast to want to take on a horse and rider".
Fellow musterers soon arrived on the scene and calmed the situation.
The man was flown to Whanganui Hospital with internal injuries but was treated and released last night.
"Black Betty was eventually located some distance away and it is believed that The Fonz is in line for an extra Tux biscuit or two," Moody said.
It was a busy day for the crew yesterday - about 4pm the helicopter was called to a rural property near Eketahuna where a farmer in his 60s had also been attacked by a bull.
The man was fencing when he was repeatedly charged. He suffered serious upper body injuries but was stabilised at the scene by a paramedic before being flown to Palmerston North Hospital, where he was was in a stable condition today.
The day began with a call-out to a rural property east of Eketahuna near Alfredton about 11am, where a man in his 20s suffered serious leg injuries after rolling his quad bike.
The man was stabilised at the scene by a paramedic before being airlifted to Palmerston North Hospital, where he is on the same ward as the Eketahuna man.
- Manawatu Standard