Canadian Champion bull rider Don Johansen bought two rodeo bull prospects back in 1980. The one that failed miserably is the one most of us remember.
His name was General Pilsner and when they flanked him and opened the chute gate with a rider, he just ambled out and laid down. Don parked the bull at his parents place for a while and one day he put a rope halter on the General, boosted his sister on to his back and the bull just laid down again. That’s when they decided to halter break the laid back bovine, then they found out they could ride him like a horse. The idea of exhibiting this gentle bull at special occasions seemed like a good one so when the opportunity to appear at a Calgary shopping mall came up, Don took the general to the event. The mall manager though, not having much experience with cattle rushed up to the general and poked him in the ribs. The general kicked the manager, a woman screamed, the bull bolted and as Don was being dragged around the parking lot he realized the general needed to be made somewhat people proof.
After a socializing process that included exposing the general to every possible situation he was likely to encounter, he was booked for appearances all over the country. For 16 years he travelled the country offering photo opportunities for politicians, celebrities, athletes and folks from every walk of life.
On a trip to Fort Mcmurray, someone opened the trailer door while the drivers had stopped at a café to ask for directions. When they finally found the general, he was surrounded by cop cars and a bunch of mounties pointing their guns at him. In spite of their warnings, he was led quietly back to the trailer. General Pilsner reached the age of 20 years and made into scrap books and photo albums from coast to coast.