Astier Nicolas

Qualification & subject:
Undergraduate BSc (Hons) Equine Management (top-up)
Double Olympic medallist and Professional Eventer

About my job

I am lucky enough to be a professional eventer competing on the international circuit, which means I help to produce and then compete on top-level horses for their owners at some of the biggest events in the world. I won my first CCI4* title at Les Etoiles de Pau, which was even more special for me as it was in my home region in France. It was a moment I had waited a long time for and it was in a field packed with the very best riders. I was the first home rider to claim the title since Nicolas Touzaint in 2007 and the youngest rider to win a CCI4* event in 2015 at the age of 26. It was a very proud day. Although I had won at CCI3* level at Bramham, my previous best finish at CCI4* was at Pau back in 2012 when I finished sixth. I also had a ninth place finish at Badminton Horse Trials and was a bronze medal winner as part of France’s team at the 2013 FEI European Eventing Championships in Malmö, Sweden.

Why I chose Hartpury University

I chose to come to Hartpury University because I felt it would provide me with outstanding opportunities that I couldn’t have got anywhere else. Being here allowed me to combine university study and top-level riding, letting me continue my development as a top level rider and gain a valuable education. Having the opportunity to be part of the Hartpury Equine Academy as well meant I could train very regularly with so many fantastic coaches, including Nick Burton (former Hartpury Equine Academy Director), world class showjumping coach Corrine Bracken and an Olympic Gold medallist in Carl Hester.

How Hartpury University opened doors for me

The best thing for me about being at Hartpury University was being so close to everything that I needed to reach my potential as a rider and as a student. I was only ever a short walk from the stables, the arenas and the chance to ride. It was also fantastic being surrounded by students from all over the world and having the opportunity to interact with people from different backgrounds. That is something that I’ll never forget.

Advice for students at Hartpury University 

Use Hartpury University as a springboard for wherever you want to get to. For me, it was all about succeeding in my sport and Hartpury University is a great place to do that. I learned a lot about horse management during my degree, which has helped me in my career. The trainers and lecturers are all of the highest calibre, so I listened and learned as much from them as I possibly could.

My life after graduating

After leaving Hartpury University, I was the Under-25s champion at Bramham CCI 3* in 2012 and in the same year, I came third in the French Open Championships. In 2013, I had a very successful year, finishing ninth at Badminton with a young horse in the hottest competition ever held there. I also maintained a podium in Bramham, finishing third, before winning team bronze for my country at the European Championships in Malmö, Sweden. My career has gone on from strength to strength ever since, culminating in my win at Pau, but I also love competing at Hartpury too. It is always a very special feeling going back there and I would love to win the NAF Five Star Hartpury International Horse Trials there one day.