(dpa) - A New Zealand man and his horse were killed by a bolt of lightning during a storm that battered New Zealand's far north on Tuesday, but more than 80 other riders with him on a mass equestrian event survived, news reports said.
Two other men and two women with the group riding on a farm at Mahuta, near Dargaville, were taken to hospital and detained for observation with what were described as minor symptoms of electric shock, according to the TV3 channel news.
The dead rider - reported to be a 61-year-old Auckland businessman - was part of a group of 85 who were just 15 minutes into a scheduled week-long trek in Northland when the lightning struck during a downpour.
A doctor, nurses and paramedic with the group failed to revive the man who died instantly.
As the storm moved south, the weather office advised people in Auckland and the Waikato province to stay indoors and motorists to pull off the road until it passed.