Undoubtedly the stallion most likely to carry on Gotthard’s bloodline is the showjumping star, Goldfever, but the history of the two stallions demonstrates how different the career of a breeding stallion has become in the forty two years between the birth of Gotthard and Goldfever.
Gotthard like all the stallions of his day was a breeding stallion, he never set foot in the competition arena – and was owned throughout his life by the State Stud at Celle.
Goldfever was first and foremost a competitor, ridden throughout his career by Ludger Beerbaum, and now as a breeding stallion, his services are marketed jointly by Celle, and the Ludger Beerbaum stables.
The handsome chestnut stallion is out of Gundula by the Grande son, Galvano, who won his stallion test at Adelheidsdorf in 1985, topping both the jumping and dressage standings. Damhirsch (by Duft I) who appears in the third generation, was popular at the Westfalien State Stud in the 60’s and 70’s.
Goldfever is the most famous representative of the mare line, Jugendzelt, registered in the Hanoverian Studbook in1930. The mare was owned by the Enders of Grönloh.
His grand dam Dana competed successfully in jumper classes with the breeder’s son. Goldfever was the first foal out of the mare Gundula who produced talented and versatile progeny. She was bred to different stallions, and her offspring achieved many successes both show jumping and dressage. A full brother, Goldfever II, born in 2004, dominated at the Stallion Licensing with his above-average basic gaits, and became successful at medium dressage level under Markus Gribbe.
Uwe Bünger from Hemmingen raised Goldfever. He was one of the top jumpers at the Stallion Licensing at Verden in 1993, and he sold at for a high price at the auction.
Goldfever finished eighth in his performance test the following year at Adelheidsdorf, with the good jumping index of 122.63 for 5th place in the jumping section, but 16th in the dressage on 110.34.
He started competing with Claudia Freise and caught the eye of Ludger Beerbaum’s sponsors, Dieter and Madeleine Winter-Schulze, who bought him.
Initially ridden by Ludger’s bereiter, Dirk Ahlmann, Goldfever made his sensational debut at the Bundeschampionate and at the World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in 1997.
With Ludger Beerbaum in the saddle, Goldfever put together a string of good performances at Berlin, Munster and Bremen. In 1999 they were second in the Audi Championship and in the Grand Prix of Donaueschingen, won at Valkenswaard, Berlin, and then took out the Championship at the German Classics in Bremen, beating World Champion, Rodrigo Pessoa.
Selection in the Olympic team for Sydney followed, although the Games are not a happy memory for Ludger. Back in Europe they hit their stride again and although Goldfever was reported to be retired at the beginning of the 2007 season, he came back and started competing successfully again, and his breeding career was once more on hold. He finally retired from competition in 2009 with winnings of more than €2,000,000.
Because of the concentration on competition, in the 2015 Hanoverian Stallion book, Goldfever is credited with only 37 progeny in competition, for winnings of €935,050 although almost all of this total is due to the efforts of his mega-talented daughter, Gotha FRH who has won €801,497 – the next highest money earner is Goldstar with €47,475.
Competing at the WEG in Normandy – Gotha and Henrik von Eckermann
In the 2017 Hanoverian book, he has 55 competitors with winnings of €961,244, once again largely thanks to Gotha FRH who won €819,739.
Goldfever has a German FN breeding index of 106 for dressage and 126 for jumping – although the Hanoverian rating based on mare performance tests and auction evaluations, gives a slightly more believable picture: 72 for dressage and 125 for jumping. He has a negative score of 73 for type, but as Dr Ludwig Christmann discovered, much to his surprise, negative scores for conformation correlated with high scores for jumping ability.
On the new double FN breeding values for 2016, Goldfever has a young horse value of 121 and an open competition value of 105. His Hanoverian jumping value is 123 (72 for dressage) with a negative type value of 73.
Goldfever was proclaimed the Hanoverian Stallion of the Year in 2010.
He has produced two Hanoverian licensed sons, Goldwing, who competed with the Hungarian, Sandor Szasz at the WEG in Kentucky, ranking third in the first qualifier, and GoldenEye.