Events director and Pet Expo organiser Lesley Magill (55) from Bray, Co Wicklow, chose her horse Billy over a new life Down Under.
"My sister emigrated to Australia and my mum and other two sisters followed her.
"The plan was that I, my husband and children would follow. But when the visas came, I realised I couldn't bear to leave my horse.
"I had him for 34 years and he was 36 when he died. My daughter bought me a wedding ring with the date I got him engraved on it and the date he died.
"I said to her: 'You know this is a wedding ring?' She said: 'You may as well have been married to him!'
"Deciding not to move was the hardest thing I've done but it was the right choice. I adored Billy and couldn't have left him behind."