Astier Nicolas

Astier Nicolas is a four-star French event rider.WEB-15-PAU-FRA-Nicolas-3757

He first arrived in England in 2009, aged 20, to work for Andrew Nicholson who he had been introduced to in Saumur.

When he left Andrew’s yard he managed to get a scholarship to study equine management at Hartpury College to enable him to stay in the UK. Astier had previously started studying for a degree in agronomy in France but stopped to concentrate on his riding.

Astier returned to France in 2012 to prepare for the London Olympics and despite not being selected, he did manage to take the under-25 CCI3* at Bramham that year. In 2013 he came ninth at his first Badminton with Piaf De B’neville, in 2014 he took the CCI3* title at Blair with Quickly Du Buguet and this year the pair finished 14th at Badminton. He quickly followed this up with a win in the CIC3* at Chatsworth with Piaf De B’neville. His biggest victory to date was when he took the CCI4* in Pau in 2015 again riding Piaf De B’neville.

In 2013 Astier set up camp at Nick Gauntlett’s in Gloucestershire to prepare for Badminton, and he is now based on eventer Helen Cole’s Wiltshire yard, where he rents 12 boxes.

Astier had his first taste of championship success in 2013 when he was part of the French bronze medal-winning team at the European Championships in Malmö and very much has his sights set in Rio 2016 selection.

If he is ever at a loose end Astier rides out for local Flat trainer Roger Charlton.