Trainers & Hunters

Mill Pond Retrievers is proud to introduce our Trainer, Lyle Steinman, Young Dog Trainer Lucas Bellanceau, and the Hunters, father and son team of David and Will Eaton

The Trainer: Lyle Steinman

Lyle Steinman began competing at the age of 8, traveling all over the United States showing cattle. He won over 300 championships on the county, state and national levels over the next 10 years. In 1982, at the Missouri State Fair, he was awarded the Grand Champion Showman award, beating out 432 showmen. As a teenager, Lyle started running UKC Night Hunts with his coon dogs. Lyle competed with Labradors as an amateur for many years before turning a professional trainer in 2003.

Our trainer Lyle Steinman, posing with a champion dog he trained
Lyle with SRS Pasha XXVII MH QAA

Since 2003, Lyle and his team past and present have many accomplishments to be proud of. More than 2900 AKC (American Kennel Club) Master passes and 160 AKC Master titled (MH) dogs in the hunt test game. He has qualified a record 182 dogs at the AKC Master National events. He has a record 29 dogs in the Master National Hall of Fame (AKC MNH , Master National Hunter title) . At the 2014 AKC Master National in Corning, CA, Lyle passed a record 18 National qualifiers. Unquestionably, he has become one of top retriever trainers in the country.

In the fall of 2006, Lyle ran his first Super Retriever Series event ( ). Since the first time in 2006, he and his team have more than 50 Super Retriever Series wins including the 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2017 the Super Retriever Series Crown Championships. Currently Lyle is sponsored by Country Vet Pet Foods, ZoomDog Supplements, Avery Sporting Dog, SportDOG Brand,Sitka, LoneDuck Outfitters, Wet Mutt Mats and Ruff Tough Kennels.

When Lyle is not training, he cherishes time with his best friend and wife Stephanie, close friends and family. Lyle and Stephanie live near Gower, Missouri, in the summer and in the winter, reside in Wolfe City, Texas. Collectively, they have 3 daughters, 1 son and 2 grandchildren. Samantha, Aaron, Willa and Rex live in Kansas City, Missouri. Kate, is a graduate of the University of Missouri. She works for Marriott Hotel Management and lives in St. Louis. Amanda enjoys reading and running along with spending time with friends. She is a Freshman at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri. Garrett enjoys helping coach youth baseball and basketball, hunting and running his own lawn care business.

“The Key to Winning or Passing Tests is often the Ability to Make Adjustments” ~ Lyle Steinman

“It is easier to be jealous, than to aspire to be better.” ~ Lyle & Stephanie Steinman

The Young Dog Trainer: Lucas Bellanceau

Lucas Bellanceau works with many of our young dogs and operates Rankin Brook Kennel located in Denmark, Maine. Lucas specializes in developing young dogs for hunting, hunt test, or detection work. Lucas has started numerous Mill Pond Retriever puppies that are now currently working in law enforcement agencies, hunting, or competitive homes across the country.

Young Dog Trainer Lucas Bellanceau, with one of the dogs he helped to make a champion
Lucas Bellanceau

In addition to the kennel, Lucas works a full-time law enforcement job where he supervises, and coordinates search and rescue and human remains detection K-9 teams. Lucas currently works a search and rescue K9 certified in tracking, air scent search, evidence, and human remains detection. Lucas has a wide range of experience in law enforcement K-9 training from traditional patrol dogs, detection, and search and rescue work. Lucas is currently a certified detection K-9 trainer through the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. Lucas’s background in K-9 work offers a unique perspective and often a different approach to the world of retrievers.

Lucas operates his small kennel taking in a limited number of dogs to develop at the pace needed to ensure a strong foundation and clear understanding of the basics. Lucas owns and breeds Chesapeake Bay retrievers and competes in both AKC and UKC hunt tests. Working with Chesapeake’s has taught Lucas that there is no one generic approach or method to retriever training. Lucas is a firm believer that adapting and making changes in training to ensure clear communication between the handler and each individual dog is critical to success.

When Lucas isn’t working or training, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter Emerson. The girls often help with socializing puppies making sure the young dogs get plenty of attention! Lucas is an avid outdoorsman and spend his fall’s pursuing waterfowl with his Chesapeake’s.

The Hunters: David and Will Eaton

Owner of Mill Pond Retrievers, David Eaton, with his son Will
David and Will Eaton

The second best part of owning a kennel is hunting with excellent dogs that are trained by the best in the country. The first best part is hunting with my son. We are enjoying dogs.

We hope that with our teammates Luke and Lyle we will be able to offer fine gun dogs to others to enjoy.