Au revoir Piaf De B'Neville

      Astier Nicolas and Piaf De B'Neville


It was fitting that Piaf De B’Neville, Astier Nicolas’ ‘horse of a lifetime’ should officially be retired at Les Etoiles de Pau, where the Selle Francais gelding by Cap de B’Neville won the CCI4* in 2015

Piaf De B’Neville was bred by Jean-Baptiste Thiebot of Haras de B’Neville and the young horse’s potential was spotted by Astier’s mother at his Pony Club where ‘Ben’ was being rather unruly. Despite that, a syndicate – Ben and Partners headed by Michel De Chateauvieux - was formed and the horse was eventually acquired as a six-year-old, having been returned to the stud by another rider as unfit for competition.

The partnership that developed between Astier and Ben helped them to win the CCI3* Under 25 at Bramham in 2012 where Astier declared “The good thing is I know there is more to come!” and indeed there was. They were part of France’s bronze medal winning team at the 2013 FEI European Eventing Championship in Malmö (SWE) and, although they missed out on the World Equestrian Games on home soil in Normandy, they took the 4* win at Pau the next year

In 2016 they won the Chatsworth leg of the Event Rider Masters (watch their full cross country ride here) and then won Olympic team gold and individual silver at Rio 2016

Earlier this year Astier decided to retire the 15 year old Piaf De B’Neville from competition but promised to farewell him at Pau and Ben will now enjoy a relaxing life with the groom that was by his side at the Rio Olympics, Julie Lemarinel


      Julie Lemarinel and Le Paif De B'Neville start a new life together


                                                 "He had a heart bigger than himself"