Riding the talented 12-year-old, Piaf de B’neville, Astier produced an immaculate clear round in the influential show jumping phase to put the pressure on the two riders above him.
World and European number one, Michael Jung was unfortunate to knock fence three down which ultimately cost him the win by just 0.9 of a penalty.
With two more to jump after him, Astier confessed that he did not feel any pressure saying, “I wasn’t nervous at all because I had two great riders ahead and certainly didn’t think I could win.”
However, much to the delight of the home crowd, the 26-year-old stole the show and produced the first French win at Les 4 Etoiles de Pau since Nicolas Touzaint’s victory in 2007.
Piaf de B’neville has been a successful campaigner for Astier. The combination won the CCI*** at Bramham in 2012 and was a member of the French team at the 2013 FEI European Eventing Championships in Malmo, Sweden. The Selle Francais gelding by Cap de B’neville looked and performed beautifully throughout the competition at Pau.
“It’s fantastic to win my first CCI 4* and to do it in France makes it even more special,” said Astier who is fittingly from Pau.