Her equestrian journey started, like for so many of us, with pony riding at a funfair when she was 2.5 years old. Ever since then horses and riding have played an essential part in Stephanie Holmén’s life. As a young pony rider, she tried out eventing, dressage and jumping before finally deciding to go all-in on jumping.
Between 2013 and 2023, she worked as a flatrider at the renowned Grevlunda estate, with her employers being none other than world elite riders Peder Fredricson and Lisen Bratt Fredricson. During her 10 years at the stable, she took on the responsibility of training and managing horses, gaining valuable experience in competitions ranging from young horse championships to World Cup victories.
Now, Stephanie faces a new career challenge as she embarks on her own venture at Borelund stable in Skåne. Her goal? Nothing less than the very top. At Maya Delorez, we firmly believe that Stephanie has a promising future ahead of her, and we are excited to see where she is headed!
About Stephanie Holmén
- Age: 32 years (27 January 1991)
- Lives in: Skåne, Sweden
- Works as: Professional Show Jumper
- Instagram: @holmenstephanie
👋 Hey Stephanie!
Let’s start with your background in equestrian sports, shall we? When did you start riding?
“I started riding already when I was only 2.5 years old. My parents drove me to Malmö Folkets Park every Saturday, where there was like a funfair where you could ride ponies for 20 minutes. It was the highlight of my week! I was probably no more than 4 years old when I started riding school, which I continued to ride at until I was about 7-8 and got my first own pony.
As a pony rider, I competed a lot and tried dressage, jumping and eventing. When I started riding larger ponies, I decided that it was jumping I would focus on. I competed up to the Swedish championships but didn’t go too well for me, haha! So I switched over to horses quite early.
I was only 13 years old when I got my first horse Titanic who was 4 years old at that time. He and I learned and grew together, all the way up to Junior Swedish and European Championships, and finally winning gold at the Young Rider Swedish Championships. It was a long and great journey together.”
How did you come to work as a rider at Grevlunda with Peder and Lisen?
“I started at Grevlunda in 2013 when I finished my time as Young Rider. Lisen had seen me taking youngsters to the highest jumping levels, and recognized that I knew what it took to produce horses all the way. She believed I would be a good fit both as a rider and as a team member, and offered me a position, for which I am extremely grateful. My time at Grevlunda has truly been amazing.”
Is it true that you turned down the first offer she proposed?
“Yes, it’s true. The first time Lisen approached me about joining their team, she initially offered me a position solely focused on young horses. At that time, I already had a thriving business back home, working with a range of horses from youngsters to Grand Prix level. I was really enjoying the thrill of competing in slightly bigger classes, since I had spent so many years devoted to young horses. So, I initially declined the offer. But let me tell you, it wasn’t an easy decision to make.
Then, about two weeks later, Lisen reached out to me again. She mentioned that she would be taking a break from riding and proposed that I take over her Grand Prix horses. Well, needless to say, it didn’t take much contemplation on my part. Of course I said yes then!”
In what ways have you changed during your time at Grevlunda?
“I have been at Grevlunda for 10 years, which is my entire adult life, so of course I have developed a lot both as a rider and as a person.”
“Being able to work so closely with Lisen and Peder, who are such great role models, has been incredibly beneficial to me.”
What are the biggest lessons you take with you?
“It’s very difficult to pinpoint my biggest lessons, because I’ve had the chance to learn everything, the whole system. Undoubtedly, my riding skills have evolved a lot. I’ve had the opportunity to ride a wide range of horses, and have gone from a preference for calmer ones to now appreciating those with a spirited and energetic nature. But I’ve also learned a great deal about the overall management and operations of a professional stable. I’ve really learned a lot.”
Do you have a favorite memory you want to share?
“I have so many great memories, I can’t pick a specific one. But of course I have to bring up the World Cup series in Zurich with my horse Sparven and our victory in Nations Cup at Falsterbo. Being part of the Swedish team, competing on home turf in Falsterbo, delivering a clear round, and then stepping into the awards ceremony as the winners… I basically grew up in Falsterbo and have sat in the stands and cheered ever since I was a little kid, so it has always been a dream to represent Sweden in the national jumping there. That I actually got to do it and that we managed to win is something I’ll never forget. But of course all the times that the young horses have performed well and even managed to win, those are also great memories.”
And now you have started your own business, what is your goal for the future?
“Yes, now it is time for me to get started with my new business and I have not set specific goals yet because it still is so early. But I will work with both young horses and older horses. I really hope that I can get back to the top of the sport, that’s where I want to be. I know it’s a long hard road to get there, and I will be dependent on the horse owners. So I hope I can find good partnerships along the way to help me get back there.”
“I’m at the cusp of a brand-new adventure in life, a new chapter, and I am so excited to start it together with Maya Delorez.”
What does a normal day in your life look like now?
“I have just started taking in horses now to kick off the business, so I basically ride all morning and sometimes even a little after lunch. Then I have lots of trainings with many students, and I think it’s really exciting to follow their development.”
What motivates you?
“It’s the horses that motivate me every day. Following and feeling their development. They give so much back. When I pour my heart and soul into them, I know they will give that back to me many times over.
Is there anything you would like to get better at?
“I would like to develop my riding so much more. I could get better at groundwork and I know I can get better in the ring as well. But that’s the beauty of this sport, you just keep developing all the time.
Now I am also about to run my own business, so I have a lot of things I will need to learn there. But I feel like I’m ready and I feel really excited. I look forward to everything I will learn along the way.”
Equestrian or not, do you have a role model?
“There are many great role models I look up to. Above all, I focus on people who I think are great riders, because that’s what I’m passionate about – developing as a rider. It’s very difficult to give any names, I look up to many skillful riders who also have great horsemanship.”
How would you sum up the type of horse you prefer?
“If I were to describe my dream horse, it would have lots of power. When it takes off over a jump, I want to feel that power in the take-off. My dream horse would be spirited, full of life! Rather a bit too hot than too lazy, and with a strong will to work. Also courage and caution at the same time – it’s hard to find that combination, but when you do, it’s absolute gold.”
Your best advice for young equestrians who want to develop in the sport?
Some advice that I would give to you as a young rider who wants to get better is:
- Dare to take up space
- Dare to ask questions
- Try to ride at good, successful stables that you look up to – both in how they train but also in how they keep their horses. Learn as much as possible, about everything you can. Both in terms of riding, but also in terms of everything else.
If you could ride one jumping horse in the whole world, which one would you choose?
“Right now I would have to say King Edward, of course.”
What’s your favorite product from Maya Delorez?
“I really like the Stephanie Everyday Halfzip. And I have two favorite breeches: Classic and Compression.”
Finish the sentence 💬
If I wasn’t a show jumper I would … do something else horse-related.
Before a competition, I like to listen to … nice, uplifting music
When I invite people over for dinner I make … not really advanced things, haha!
Something I can’t do without is … Carl and my corgi Ellie.
A person I’d like to meet is … Ariana Grande.
When my alarm rings in the morning, I think … I’m glad I’m getting old and wake up before the alarm rings, haha.
When I come home from the stables in the evening, I like to … eat a good dinner and cozy up with my family.