French rider Astier Nicolas (27), who is based near Calne in Wiltshire, last competed at Badminton in 2013 finishing 9th on his debut (Piaf de B’Neville).
Astier first rode aged five and encouraged by his mother joined the pony club and began competing ponies at the age of nine.
For six consecutive years from 2005 Astier was a member of the French Pony, Junior and Young Rider team to contest European Championships – he won two team bronze medals and in 2009 at the Young Rider Europeans, individual silver – and is the only French rider to have competed in pony, junior and young rider teams. He has also been the French national young rider champion. In 2011, he was 17th at Le Lion d’Angers in the World Championship for seven-year-old horses with Quickly du Buguet and was the highest placed French rider at Lumühlen CCI**** (18th) with Jhakti du Janlie (Jak), his first four-star competition.
In 2012 he graduated from Hartpury College (BSc Equine Science) and jumped to prominence in the UK when winning the 2012 British Under-25 championship at Bramham with Piaf. He was long-listed for the French Olympic team and made his senior team debut in the 2013 European Championships at Malmo winning team bronze. In 2014 with Quickly du Buguet he won the three-star at Blair Castle.
Astier trains with Annabel Scrimgeour and Grant Wilson
He enjoys rugby and skiing
Quickly du Buguet, owned by Mrs Benedicte Nicolas is a 12-year-old French-bred registered Anglo Arab mare. She is by the showjumper Zandor Z out of an AA mare by the Arabian stallion Naswan and was acquired from the breeder as a four-year-old.
Quickly du Buguet
16.3hh, bay, mare
Sire Zandor Z
Dam Fourmie des Pins (Naswan)
Breeder Odile COTINET
Owner(s): Benedicte Nicolas, Balma, France