byNina Fedrizzi| Jan 29, 2018
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:
- 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.
- She earned team silver and team bronze in the FEI European Championships for Young Riders in 2010 and 2012, respectively.
- Holmén’s partner, Carl-Walter Fox, also competes in show jumping at the international level.
- 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.
- Holmén is a dog lover and has her own Corgi named Elli.
- Flip’s Little Sparrow is called “Sparven” (‘sparrow’ in Swedish) in the barn and is also shown at the five-star level by Fredricson.
- 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.
- On average, Holmén rides six or seven horses a day, six days a week.
- 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!
- 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.