CLIVE Gardner, the iconic auctioneer, has died, aged 71.

Gardner was a highly regarded livestock auctioneer in South Africa and for decades a familiar face at the TBA’s National Yearling Sale at Gosforth Park, where he often worked with Graeme Hawkins, Andrew Miller and late Peter Lovemore. 

Said Miller: “Clive had a heart attack while doing an auction last Saturday. He was rushed to hospital but couldn’t recover.

“There are very few individuals in each industry of business who are legends, game changers and remarkable personalities. Clive was such an individual. It was a privilege to share the rostrum with him and his departure will lead a massive gap.

“One of the great auctioneers of the South African Stud Stock industry has taken his last bid. He will be missed forever but forever fondly remembered.”

Gardner was an international guest auctioneer at the Goffs Orby and November Sales between 1981 and 2012.

Racing Post reports in their tribute that David Nagle of Goffs worked alongside Gardner in South Africa in the 70s and early 80s and, together with Jonathan Irwin, persuaded Gardner to auctioneer in Ireland. 

“He was an iconic auctioneer and the consummate professional,” said Henry Beeby, group chief executive of Goffs Group. “He had enormous authority, control and charisma on the rostrum and a beautiful, melodic, baritone voice with great depth and resonance.

“He was one of those people you would listen to and think ‘what a lovely voice’. He brought something very special to the Goffs rostrum.

“In the early days, in the 80s, he was a bit of a trailblazer in terms of putting a bit more speed into the delivery, along with the likes of David Nagle and Sir Peter Nugent. We now go at a different pace to what they used to. 

“He was a very popular, respected and revered auctioneer and a charming, charismatic and fun character. I first worked alongside him in 2000, when I guest-auctioneered at Goffs. I learned a huge amount from him.

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