Zombie A, a registered American Quarter Horse, was born May 6, 1948. The chestnut sorrel filly began her competitive life as a race horse and then came to Billie and Wilson McBride of San Angelo, Texas, in 1952, as a 4 year old. Wilson, a horse trainer, tried her at roping, but soon realized she was a natural at barrels. Billie, a Girls Rodeo Association barrel racer, agreed and after only 2 weeks training, they won second place in their first rodeo in Littlefield, Texas.
Zombie had a gift of running barrels and winning. In their first year of competition in the GRA, 1954, they were Reserve World Champions. She and Billie then paired up for four straight GRA (WPRA) World Championships from 1955 through 1958. In 1955 out of 92 runs, Zombie only hit one barrel. In Little Rock, her bridle rein broke out of the chute, but the mare continued the pattern to win first. Zombie has the distinction of being the only mare to win four world championships. During the rodeo season of 1959 Zombie developed “night blindness” which reduced her ability to see at night and inside coliseums. They were Reserve Champions that year, but the blindness ended her GRA career.
Zombie also teamed with Billie and Wilson’s daughter, Alva Jean, for much success in the GRA. Alva Jean, who entered her first GRA barrel race on Zombie at age 9, and Billie would often compete on Zombie at the same performances with frantic stirrup adjustments in between runs. Later grandchildren, Kevin, Keith and Vanessa, competed on Zombie at junior rodeos until Zombies’ death in March 1977. She never lost her zeal for running barrels. Zombie was much loved by three generations.