Dorinda came late into the lives of Ken and Minty Miggins. The Miggins had counted their blessings each day since the arrival of God’s tardy but precious gift of an only daughter.
Being a special child, Dorinda wanted for nothing ever since her fourth birthday present of an implausibly expensive pony, Bijou Blitzkrieg.
A precocious infant, Dorinda soon amassed a fortune’s worth of top of the range horsy brands and a bedroom full of red rosettes. Each season’s riding wear reflected the current vogue as did tack, transport and teachers.
Rabid professionalism ensured considerable success from an early age. Victory compounded the pressure on both parents to drop everything to take Dorinda to lessons, rallies and Pony Club camps.
Team Miggins would find its way to every competition within an exhaustingly wide radius and functioned year after year with a Germanic efficiency.
Minty very occasionally came close to flagging. More than once she wistfully yearned for a Saturday off to shop or an evening at home to enjoy a small sherry with the latest Jilly Cooper.
Blissfully unaware of this, Ken remained perpetually in awe and at the disposal of his little princess who could do no wrong and for whom nothing was too much trouble.
Now 18 and about to depart for uni, Dorinda’s arrival at the yard is announced by the heavy base of the stereo in the BMW convertible given by Ken on her 17th.birthday.
A blonde pre-Raphaelite in Raybans and snow-white breeches, Dorinda oozes poise as her costly dressage mare Faberge Sturm und Drang is brought out for schooling.
Dorinda rules her circle of friends at the yard with the same calm authority as employed on her doting parents. They will all soon be left far behind as their baby heads for pastures new, a flat in South Ken and a titled older boyfriend called Gervaise.
The other liveries will soon resume their lives, but for Ken and Minty the silence will be palpable. Their last conversation not about Dorinda took place in 1996.