3 AUGUST 2007

Despite the pressures of the day, Athina Onassis de Miranda and her husband Alvaro Alfonso de Miranda Neto found time for romance during the first Athina Onassis International Horse Show in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The 22-year-old billionairess gazed into her dashing partner's eyes as they shared a kiss at Thursday's equestrian event which, although it bears Athina's name, was the first big show jumping event mounted by her husband, who served as president of its organising committee.

Alvaro, who is known by his nickname Doda, rode in the competition, too, supported from the sidelines by the shipping heiress, who's also a keen rider.

Athina has taken a vested interest in the Brazilian Olympian's career and according to reports splashed out $2.5 million on the purchase of his horse Picolien Zeldenrust - a Dutch chestnut mare described as having "no flaws". It took brokers two years to seal the deal as the owners initially didn't want to sell. Now Doda, 34, is training on the horse in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The event to which Athina has lent her name couldn't have had a higher profile or more prestigious beginning. It represents the eighth leg of the International Horse Jumping Contest, which offers more than $1 million in prize money.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The Brazilian Olympian, who served as president of the event's organising committee, receives a kiss from his proud young wife at the debut of the show jumping competitionPhoto: © AFP
Photo: © Alphapress.com
As well as helping organise the event Doda also competed in it, riding Picolien Zeldenrust - a $2.5 million present from his wifePhoto: © AFP