18 MAY 2007

Many stepmums would glad to have Athina Onassis de Miranda's easy rapport with her seven-year-old stepdaughter Viviane, husband Alvaro Alfonso de Miranda Neto's child from a former marriage. And the shipping heiress' affectionate manner earned her a kiss and cuddle from the little girl at a recent showjumping event in Madrid.

No one watching the touching scene could fail to be impressed by the nature of the pair's relationship. Nestled snugly in Athina's lap to watch her daddy take part in the competition, the happy youngster chatted away to her young stepmum - at one point holding up a pair of make-up brushes, suggesting the two had been indulging in the oldest girlie pastime in the book: sharing grooming tips.

Since her December 2005 marriage to Doda, as he's known to family and friends, Athina has blossomed into a confident, young woman. With her flattering highlighted locks and svelte physique, the 22-year-old cuts an attractive figure on the European equestrian circuit.

While she is always a relaxed and supportive presence when Doda rides, Athina, a talented horsewoman in her own right, is believed to harbour ambitions to compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. And, as the pair walked the course, talking tactics it certainly seemed that Aristotle Onassis' granddaughter couldn't have a better partner at her side to help her achieve her goal.

Photo: ©
The affectionate relationship between the shipping heiress and her husband's little girl was clear for all to see as Viviane pulled her youthful step-mum close to give her a warm kissPhoto: © Getty ImagesClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Athina and Doda also stole a tender moment, despite the pressure of competition Photo: © Getty Images

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