THE equestrian world has lost two well-known characters - William Braithwaite, who was whipper-in to the Wensleydale, and Mervyn Ramage, the Clydesdale enthusiast.

Mr Braithwaite, aged 64, became first whipper-in to Maurice Bell of the Wensleydale Foxhounds in 1988. He was called The Flying Whip, because of the speed he could walk the fells.

He and his wife, Marjorie, walked hounds and he did sterling work raising funds for, and awareness of, the Wensleydale pack.

He also became a member of the committee and was later the vice-chairman.

Mr Braithwaite was well-known for always finding time for the young children who hunted with the Wensleydale.

He was diagnosed as having kidney cancer shortly after a holiday in Canada, where the couple celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.

He was buried at Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria, near to the village of Winton, where he and his wife had retired. He is survived by his wife and sons, David and Stephen.

l Mr Ramage, who died suddenly at the age of 71, was best known for his agricultural turnouts at summer shows.

His wagons and carts were a colourful feature of the show scene and he was noted for his light roan Clydesdales.

He was born in Stanley and farmed 100 acres at Mount Farm, Ayton Banks, Gateshead, mainly with horses including a DIY livery business.

He is survived by Pauline and their young son, Harry, a budding horsesman.