IRC Q&A: Alastair Pim

IRC Tuesday Newsletters

On the European Sales Circuit, much respected Alastair Pim is one of the best Auctioneers, from selling top class international pedigrees in Tattersalls Newmarket, UK, to selling National Hunt foals in Fairyhouse Ireland or at Horses-In-Training Sales in Cheltenham.

When he steps onto the rostrum, be prepared for a show. He once told a sales ring it was not “Chickens he was selling” or trying to get bids late in the evening can call a buyer “The last of the big Spenders”. His personality shines through from the rostrum. He has been quoted as saying he gets more satisfaction out of selling a 300 euro horse for 2000 than getting millions for a blue blood.

Raised on the Family Stud Farm in Mountmellick Co Laois, which he now runs, his late Father David was also an accomplished auctioneer. The selling of bloodstock runs through the veins. Rugby is their next passion. David played for Leinster, dropped the week before a visit of the All Blacks, Brother Chris captained Leinster for two years, himself very unlucky not to be capped for Ireland. Alastair was an accomplished Flanker on the Leinster bench, often seen looking at horses with bumps and lumps on his head – whilst waving his gavel on the rostrum was a different sight from other auctioneers on the circuit.

Alastair has sold Bloodstock in South Africa, guesting at the TBA’s National Sale in Germiston, also made his hammer come down in Sweden, Australia, the UK and Ireland. In addition he sells top quality showjumpers at the famous Cavan Equestrian Cente in Ireland.

Anngrove Stud, the family farm, has bred a Queen Mary Royal Ascot winner, two Cheltenham winners and stands 4 four quality stallions, namely Aiken (a Group 2 winner by Selkirk from a fantastic family), Famous Name (a son of Dansili that is making his name as a sire), Marcel (a Group 1 winning son of Lawman getting winners on the flat) and Vendangeur (a son of Galileo making a name for himself in the National Hunt game).

If ever you see Alastair at the sales say hello to him, he’s a top man and it wll hard to find a better person knocking a gavel around!

Here is our snap Q&A with Alastair, conducted by Eamonn Cullen:

  1. Full name? Alastair William Pim
  1. Date of Birth? 26/07/66
  1. Steak or sushi? Steak
  1. Superstitions? Wave at Magpie
  1. Fav Holiday Destination? Skiing Meribel France…. Vale De Lobo Portugal
  1. Which: BMW or Merc? BMW
  1. Who inspires you the most? My Father David
  1. Big night out or quiet night in? Quiet night in
  1. Left-handed or right-handed? Left Handed, unfortunately
  1. Most memorable day in auctioneering career? Every Day is Memorable on the Rostrum
  1. If you had a choice: Professional rugby or auctioneering? Professional Rugby
  1. What annoys you most? Mares that should go in foal that don’t


  1. Funniest person you have ever met? Eamonn Cullen… shows what the people are like that I hang around with.
  1. What is your biggest phobia? End of year tax return
  1. Best horse sale in the world? Tatts December
  1. Most embarrassing moment? I’ve had a lot of them
  1. Enjoy Selling: Expensive horses or cheapies? Cheapies


Alastair as a rugby player.
Alastair as a rugby player.

18. Most expensive horse sold? 2.8 Million Guineas

  1. Most famous horse sold? St Marks Basilica, and a few Derby Winners as well
  1. One thing to improve auction sales? Faster Bids by purchasers, Auctioneers to be able to jump bidders as much as they like !!!!
  1. Proudest Achievement? Beating the Barbarians in Rugby for Old Wesley 37-36 which is 30 years ago this year
  1. Economy or business class? Economy
  1. Ordinary folk or high-brow racing people? Ordinary Folk
  1. Beer or whiskey? Beer
  1. Your star sign? Leo
  1. Bath or shower? Bath at 3am
  1. Read or Netflix? Netflix
  1. Would you rather ask for permission or ask for forgiveness? Permission
  1. Nominate someone for our Q&A next? Barack Obama

Chosen charity for readers to donate to: Irish Injured Jockeys fund.


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