Did you know Gotthard (1949-1979, Goldfisch II-Amateur I), the great Hanoverian jumper sire, was not used extensively by breeders in Germany until he was 21 years of age?
Breeding expert, Werner Schockemohle in his text, Die Grossen Hengste Hannovers, described Gotthard as "lucky" to be accepted into the stallion ranks at Celle: "At the time, he was not really ready. He looked weak and lacking in expression - he was not developed sufficiently in the shoulder and in the formation of the neck. No one could guess at the time how lovely and expressive the horse would be ten years later."
For four years (age 7-10), he was at Celle on their "reserve" stallion list. This group of stallions waited for one of the other stallions to be injured or unable to breed, then one of them would take his place. Even in 1966, at 17 years of age, his offspring had won only 1,681 DM. It was not until 1970 (at 21 years of age), when his daughter, Goldika (out of a Mecklenburg mare with no papers) started her sensational jumping career with Gert Wiltfang and became an internationally famous show jumper. That year, Goldika won a total of 17 "S" classes, including three Nations Cups.
By 1975, Gotthard lead the top sire list for jumpers in terms of prize money. Eventually, his 398 competing offspring earned almost two million deutschmarks in show jumping. For seven years, he was the leading sire of show jumpers in Germany and sired 34 licensed sons (Gardestern I, Goldstern, Godehard, Grosso Z, and many more.) Legendary jumping sire, Landor S, is out of the Godehard daughter, SPS Fureida II. In addition, Voltaire, the hugely influential Dutch based jumping sire, is a son of the Gotthard mare, Gogo Moeve. Gotthard continues to be an influential sire in the bloodlines of show jumpers from around the world.
Source: Hector, C. "From Gotthard to Gribaldi: The Making of the Modern Warmblood," Sporthorse International, Victoria, Australia, pp. 12-15.