Raymond Helmuth Going For It at The Tryon CDE

Sunday, October 3, 2021
Posted by Edited Press Release



Raymond Helmuth (IA) competed in both the Advanced and Preliminary Single Horse Divisions during the Tryon CDE, winning his Preliminary competition with a horse who hasn’t competed in more than two years. He also laid the groundwork for a chance at contesting the World Championship in 2022, with Belinda Purvis's American Warmblood/KWPN stallion Kendro.

Raymond Helmuth and Fifty Shades of Grey
Raymond Helmuth and Fifty Shades of Grey. ©

“I’m very proud of my horses. It was just a fantastic weekend. This is his second competition," Helmuth said about the Dutch Harness Horse Nifty Shades of Grey. "He really hasn’t done anything for the last two and a half years, so you can pretty much call it his second competition ever - and he was super in all three phases. He really caught on well and was just fantastic. It was just really, really nice. I loved the facility.”

Helmuth noted that despite a technical course, his mount grew in confidence and skill as the track progressed, for a positive learning experience all around: “There were definitely some hazards that were technical and a little challenging, but I definitely like a challenge,” he emphasized. “It was a great course. It tested my driving skills as well as his ability to take it on. About halfway through, he definitely caught on and I was so proud of him.” 

Photo ©Sharon Packer Photography - visit this link for photos of all competitors.

Raymond and Kendro Step It Up

In addition to getting one horse back into the competition ring, Helmuth decided to challenge his former Preliminary/Intermediate horse, Kendro, an American Warmblood stallion, owned by Belinda Purvis, with a debut at the Advanced Division. This was the FEI step for Raymond as well and they met the challenge.

Raymond Helmuth and Kendro at Tryon CDE 2021
Raymond Helmuth and Kendro at Tryon CDE 2021. ©

“It was his first time doing Advanced and my first time doing Advanced. He was the Preliminary Single Horse USEF Champion, and then this last winter in Florida he was unbeaten in Intermediate, so I decided I might as well go ahead and see how Advanced went!” The duo finished fourth in the Advanced Single Horse Division, and Helmuth was pleased with what he learned about himself and his horse. 

 “One of the reasons [I came to TIEC] is that my longshot goal would be to make the team to go to the World Championships in 2022 with my Advanced horse, Kendro. When I heard there were fewer entries than expected, I talked to Jennifer [Matheson] and the owners of the horses, and I immediately started learning the test! I also heard it was just an unbelievable facility, so I had to come,” he acknowledged. “It was very good, and I don’t have anything to be disappointed about!”

“Kendro gave me some super good moments in Dressage. There is plenty to work on, but he definitely has the talent to do it. For the Marathon phase, I definitely wasn’t driving as well as I can. I think I felt the pressure of that level, so there were some marathon obstacles that were not as smooth as I would’ve wanted,” Helmuth admitted. “In the last three obstacles, he was really good and took them on. He was excellent, for his first time, and for traveling that far he recovered well and I was so, so pleased.” 

Just recently at the AWSSR Inspection on October 2, 2021, at Walnut Creek Sport Ponies in Ames, IA. Kendro took the Bronze medal with an 81.125 and was approved for Breeding earning 3 of his 5 stars. He was bested by 2 of his get, Walnut Creek Ara and Walnut Creek Amos, the Gold and Silver medalists. 

A Family Affair

Raymond Helmuth, Helmuth Equine has been driving and riding horses his entire life. In addition, he continues to master all aspects of horsemanship, from creating harnesses to shoeing to competing. Born and raised in an Amish family in Hazelton, Iowa, Raymond has packed a lifetime of experience in his young life. Growing up with 11 brothers and sisters, and working in horse farming from day one. His cousin, Vernon Helmuth has been in Germany for several years competing at the FEI Level for the USA. Vernon recently put in a strong showing at the FEI World Driving Championships for Pair Horses as an individual competing for the USA. 

His brother Rudy Helmuth had been manager of the Budweiser Clydesdale operation and driver of the team before COVID changes the dynamic. Now based in Ocala, Florida, Raymond has another sibling close by to be part of his crew when he comes to Florida for the winter months to campaign his horses. 

Raymond did his first HDT in 2016 and has quickly established himself rising to the FEI level, and campaigning quality horseflesh and breeding programs aimed at evolving the sport in the USA.

Like many Tryon CDE competitors, Helmuth heard of TIEC’s impressive facility and was curious to compete for the first time at the venue, personally encouraged to enter based on lower-than-expected entries. Helmuth couldn’t ignore the educational value of such an experience, yet hopes to see more to compete with in the future.

View and order photos from Tryon CDE 2021 at