A man from Tennessee has died after being attacked by a stallion.

Sixty-eight-year-old Travis Oliver Beard died on Thursday 21 January from injuries inflicted by the horse.

Mr Beard was attacked in the field on Spring Valley Road by the stallion.

He had told his son William and a friend Bruce Higgins that he needed to stay home to “feed the animals” but when they returned they saw the horse with something in its mouth. They initially thought it was a feed bag but when they heard the man’s shouts they realised the stallion had attacked Mr Beard.

Mr Higgins hit the horse with a large rock, causing the animal to release Mr Beard. His son then the shot the horse when it charged at them.

Mr Beard suffered severe injuries to his chest, abdomen and one leg. He also lost an arm in the attack, which was discovered “some distance away.” He was conscious when they found him and and airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, but died later due to his injuries.

The horse’s head was sent to the Tennessee Health Department for rabies tests, but the department this week confirmed that the horse was not rabid.

Mr Beard had reportedly carried a stick when feeding the animal as it “was mean”.

Houston County Sheriff Kennith Barnes told local press: “They thought (the horse) had a feedbag. Bruce ran to Oliver and William ran to the house to retrieve a gun.

“William did what he had to do, I don’t blame him a bit. I would have done the same thing.

“Bruce and William said that Oliver turned around to close the gate and the horse hit him in the back.

“It’s a terrible tragedy. I have never seen anything like it.”