Watch out world: European showjumping has crowned a new champion, and her name is Stephanie Holmén. This weekend at the Mercedes-Benz CSI Zürich, Holmén and the 12-year-old Swedish mare Flip’s Little Sparrow broke onto the international stage in a major way, winning the 11th leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017/2018 Western European League on Sunday, January 28.

Riding for Sweden, the 27-year-old is a longtime student of the world’s #5-ranked showjumper, Peder Fredricson, and a rider for Fredricson and wife Lisen’s Grevlundagarden stable in Grevlunda, in southern Sweden. With a world-class horse and training team behind her, it’s safe to say that Holmén has quite a bright future ahead of her. And, if you’re just getting to know this talented up-and-comer, we’ve done the leg-work for you!

Here are 10 things to know about Stephanie Holmén:

  1. Holmén was born in Vellinge, near Malmö, in the south of Sweden, but her parents moved her to a farm where she’d have access to horses at an early age.
  2. She earned team silver and team bronze in the FEI European Championships for Young Riders in 2010 and 2012, respectively.
  3. Holmén’s partner, Carl-Walter Fox, also competes in show jumping at the international level.
  4. Stephanie considers the Fredricsons to be her role models and has said that fact adds pressure to her riding because she does not want to disappoint them.
  5. Holmén is a dog lover and has her own Corgi named Elli.
  6. Flip’s Little Sparrow is called “Sparven” (‘sparrow’ in Swedish) in the barn and is also shown at the five-star level by Fredricson.
  7. Stephanie and Sparven earned a slew of top results together already last season, including a second place (to Fredricson) in a CSI4* class at the Sweden International Horse Show, and a CSI3* win on the Baltica Equestrian Tour in Poland in September.
  8. On average, Holmén rides six or seven horses a day, six days a week.
  9. Stephanie credits Fredricson for giving her the advice she needed to win the class on Sunday, saying that he told her to “[get] out of her comfort zone and [ride] faster.” It worked!
  10. This was Holmén’s first start in a FEI World Cup™ qualifier and her first win. Even better? It was Stephanie’s 27th birthday weekend!

-Photo credit: Thomas Reiner.