A horse has been rescued by helicopter after spending five days stranded on a sandbank in Arizona.

The mustang, called Colorado, became stuck on the sandbank in the middle of the Gila River, southwest of Phoenix last Friday (12 March).

The horse spent five days marooned after rescued attempts to walk him out failed due to strong currents in the river.

Three riders were rescued after trying to cross the river. Another horse was put down after it broke a leg.

Eight-year-old Colorado was rescued by a helicopter, funded by an anonymous donor.

Colorado was tranquilised and harnessed with blinkers before being hoisted into the air.

The horse was uninjured.

Colorado’s owner Vickie Eshenbaugh told local press: “’He’s doing good — I always wanted a Pegasus.”

Watch Fox News’ report with video of the rescue