Competing at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials is a childhood dream for many, though few realise it. At his first Badminton, twenty-four year-old French rider Astier Nicolas made his dreams come true with a solid performance on Piaf B’Nevelle (10 yr-old Selle Français gelding, owned by the Ben & Partners Syndicate). The pair finished on their dressage score (49.3) and moved up after each phase: from 28th place in dressage, 17th after cross-country to 9th overall, thanks to a double clear show jumping round. A top ten finish at Badminton is pretty impressive for anyone but even more impressive for a 24 year-old first timer.

Astier Nicolas after Badminton …remember that name!