04 December 2018

Young Swedish stars Irma Karlsson and Stephanie Holmén discuss how their friendship has aided their rise to the top of the Jumping world...

Top equestrian athletes rely of course on fabulous partnerships with their horses, but bonds with their fellow competitors are also very important.


Young Swedish Jumping star Irma Karlsson has made a superb start to the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ season and will be relying on her mounts Ida van de Bisschop and Chacco Stara in this weekend’s leg in La Coruna, Spain.


As the 25-year-old aims for points to build on her 13th position in the Western European League rankings, which would be good enough to see her through to the final in Gothenburg in April, she’ll no doubt be in contact with her big buddy Stephanie Holmén, 27, another young Swede who has also made an impressive start to the indoor season.

Here we ask
the two about
their friendship…

The two came through the ranks to CSI 5* together and really took the Jumping world by storm last season with Stephanie winning in Zürich in January and Irma impressing soon after in Bordeaux.

The pair were both part of the Swedish team at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in October and have been in good form since the start of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ season. Stephanie took fifth place in Stuttgart with Flip’s Little Sparrow last month, while Irma and Ida van de Bisschop finished third in Madrid and eighth in Lyon.


Good friends have lots in common, and having a friend who shares your biggest passions is certainly something that everyone hopes for. Stephanie and Irma both met through horses, and have gone on their journey through the levels together, supporting each other every step of the way.


Irma: “From the beginning the sport brought us together. It’s always nice to have someone on the same level, with the same goals that you can look up to and at the same time can push you to get one step further. Our friendship is not only horses and Steffi is a person I trust and share a lot with.”


Good friends inspire and motivate each other to be better, and Stephanie and Irma’s strong friendship combined with their competitive natures could certainly be credited to some of their great results over the course of this calendar year, with Irma noting that “I’m pretty sure [Stephanie’s] win in Zürich spurred me to then do so well at the World Cup in Bordeaux.”


And what about when they are competing against each other?


Irma said: “For sure we are both competitive… but shared happiness is double happiness.”


Stephanie added: “If I can’t win, I always hope that she can make it. We always support each other at shows.”


This is certainly only the beginning for these two talented young riders, and fabulous friends! 


Irma: “I hope we will share many more successful moments in our career.”


Manage your cookies