Ivan Fandino killed in bullfight
Fandino was a popular bullfighter and had already completed fights in the morning Getty

A Spanish bullfighter has been gored to death during a festival in France, after stumbling on his cape.

Ivan Fandino, 36, died on Saturday (17 June) as he was rushed to hospital reportedly suffering a heart attack, a result of a serious lung injury sustained from the bull. Fandino had already competed in bullfights earlier in the day.

The bullfighter caught his feet in his cloak while attempting a turn designed to distract the specially-bred fighting animal.

The matador was taking part in the Aire-sur-l'Adour bullfighting festival near Pau in the south-west of the country.

According to reports, he is the first matador to die in France for almost a century when Isidoro Mari Fernando died at an arena in 1921 in Beziers.

Fandino had suffered injuries before in bullfighting events, in 2015 he was thrown into the air by a bull in Pamplona, Spain, and in 2014 he was knocked unconscious in Bayonne, France.

The centuries-old tradition of bullfighting remains popular in Spain, with around 1,800 shows a year before a total audience of some six million who view the sport as an art integral to Spanish culture. But opponents describe the blood-soaked pageants as barbaric.

Deaths in bullfights have become less common in recent decades, in 2016 Victor Barrio, 29, became the first matador to die in Spain in 30 years after he was gored to death live on television.

Bullfighting is legal in France after a ruling back in 2012 by the Constitutional Council. More than 1,000 bulls are killed annually in French fights.