A Hand-Made All-Time Point Earner

A Hand-Made All-Time Point Earner

Hand Made Machine and Grant Mastin surpass 1,000 youth trail points to make “Carl” the all-time leading youth trail horse by points.

Grant Mastin and Hand Made Machine

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By Becky Newell

You’d think that heading off to his first year of college at Texas Christian University, where he is majoring in finance with a minor in political science, and participating on the school’s football team would have given Grant Mastin plenty to say grace over in 2022-23. But he had another project on the table: making his trail horse, Hand Made Machine, the all-time leading youth trail horse by points.

The duo crossed that goal off their list this spring when Carl officially crossed the 1,000-point line. He now has 1,019 youth trail points, 181 more than the next all-time leading youth trail horse, the late Blueboy Dreamer, a 1998 bay roan gelding by Blueboy Quincy and out of Dreamer Tyree by Watch Tyree who was owned by AQHYA Past President Christopher Luba of St. Charles, Missouri.

Grant and his mom, Melissa Armstrong of Jackson, Ohio, bought Carl as a 3-year-old from John and Betsy Tuckey of Eastanollee, Georgia.

“Mom unexpectedly pulled me out of school one day in 2015 and told me we were going to look at a horse,” Grant says. “She told me that we might not even buy it, but that we were going to go look at him.”

From western riding sire Machine Made’s first foal crop, Hand Made Machine is a 2012 bay gelding out of Hot Angelina by Blazing Hot. Carl was bred by Robbie Schroeder and Carl Yamber (thus the horse’s barn name) and is owned by Grant’s mom. The Tuckeys bought him as a yearling. Carl’s sire, Machine Made, was by Good Machine and out of Gypsys Little Image by Good Version.

“We rode him and liked him,” Grant says. “He was green, but that’s a 3-year-old. When we left after trying him, Mom and I got in the car, but didn’t say a word to each other. We stopped to fill up the car with gas for our trip home, and when we got back in the car, we just looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s buy that horse.’”

And they did.

“I show him in youth, and (AQHA Professional Horseman) Ryan Cottingim shows him in the open,” Grant says. “He’s a unique horse. He’s very laid back, he loves attention and the camera, but acts like he doesn’t. When we get to a show, he has to stop and look all around him before he steps off the trailer.

A year ago, Grant was curious about Carl’s total points and realized he wasn’t that far from 1,000 points. So Grant made that his goal for Carl.

“A year ago, I had set a goal for Carl to exceed 1,000 youth trail points, something that has never been accomplished before,” Grant wrote on Facebook. “I can now say that Hand Made Machine stands alone at the top of the record books. ‘Blessed’ is definitely an understatement. I am forever grateful for all this special horse has accomplished and for those who have guided us to where we are today.”

Carl’s many achievements include: 2019 youth high-point trail horse, 2018 youth reserve champion in 13-&-Under trail, 2020 youth reserve champion in Level 2 western riding, 2021 14-18 trail world champion and 2022 youth western riding world champion. More recently, Carl earned another gold globe in 14-18 trail in 2023. Carl, who earned an open performance champion title in 2021, also has youth and open AQHA Superiors in trail and western riding, as well as youth and open performance Registers of Merit.

What’s the future hold for Grant and Carl?

“I look forward to finishing my youth career strong on Carl," Grant says. "He loves to be a show horse. My only goal is to not let him down each time we step into the arena."

Here are the rest of the top-five all-time youth trail horses by points:


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