Meet the Riverlily Team

Trainer - Abbie


My dog training career started ten years ago with Mya, my 8 week old working bred black Labrador puppy. I began the task of training this full on, high energy puppy using reference books and a DVD. It was a steep learning curve.


Since those early days I am now an IABTC Qualified Dog Instructor, a Member of the Guild of Dog Trainers and I have a Diploma in Canine Psychology. For 3 years I was an Assistant Gundog Trainer at Ashleygrove Gundogs.


Riverlily was started in 2012 and since then has grown into a fantastic Club where people can train their dogs in a friendly and relaxed environment. Training is reward based and our sessions are structured and progressive so everyone can achieve their training goals. We have numerous social events throughout the year and finish most training session with cake and lots of tea!!

My aim is for all trainees to come to Riverlily and build a working bond of trust and respect with their dog and to have fun doing so, whilst at the same time making new friends and enriching their personal lives. 


I have attended many courses over the years, both Gundog courses and Pet Dog courses. I have acquired a great depth of knowledge and training skills through listening to other trainers and through training my own seven dogs and hundreds of clients dogs. All of which are totally different in character and temperament and require very different training techniques, depending on the breed and the individual nature of each dog.


My team comprises of seven beautiful black Labradors, six of which are related. I have bred two litters in the Riverlily line and have produced cracking big, strong, bold dogs and small, fast and super clever bitches. They are all hunting machines. 


They are trained and walked every day and lead a fantastic active life. In the summer months I regularly compete in Working Tests and in the winter months I pick up on a number of shoots with them all. There is never a dull moment. I have also entered a number of Field Trials and this is currently what I am focusing on with my young dogs.


Come and see us soon and start your Gundog training adventure with Riverlily today!





My advice would be "always remember you and your dog are a team and if you are enjoying the training then I am sure your dog will be too!"

Riverlily Working Dogs

Trainer – Jon Cowan


I have always had Labradors in my family, and have always had an interest in training them.  I currently deliver training classes for pet owners, helping them teach their dogs good manners and obedience, at a local dog club.


I started training with Abbie when i got my first working Labrador Mylo, who is now 5 years old. I was hooked on gundog training from day one and was fascinated to see how much our dogs can really do! I also have Harry, my yellow Labrador, who is now 3 years old and who is super fast and super keen. Both my dogs compete in Working Tests and go out Picking Up in the winter.


My top training tip: Relax, if you enjoy training, your dog will too!


I hope to see you at Riverlily soon.





Our Dogs

Our first Labrador was Mya.

Sire Millbuies Mccoy

Dam Brocklebank Topaz

Born 02.07.07


Mya was born to retrieve and work.


She is fast moving and fast thinking. She loves to train everyday. She is happy to retrieve from any cover too.... No brambles are too much for our Mya.


Her stop whistle at distance is a dream and she takes direction at any distance. She loves to spend the day with me. Training or competing in Working Tests in the summer months and Picking Up on our five local shoots in the winter.


She is loyal and is everyone’s friend and her tail is always wagging.


We had a beautiful litter of four puppies from Mya in 2012. We kept two, River and Star.

Mya - Almshoebury Persuasion of Riverlily

Roxy - Lamazing Bella of Riverlily

Sire FTCH Greenbriar Viper of Drakeshead

Dam Calderhay Beaver of Lamazing

Born 31.10.08


Super fit and lean, Roxy is the athlete of the team. She loves to run and retrieve with super fast speed.


Roxy has been trained with Field Trial competitions in mind. She runs straight lines and her delivery is so soft and gentle. She is steady to game and her heelwork the best in our kennel.


She is a very loyal dog and just lives for picking up in the winter. She regularly picks up on our local shoots 3 times a week during the season. Her ability to pick runners is a joy to watch and her hunting and sweeping skills are brilliant. Roxy is the dog we know will find the bird tucked up tight after the drive a long way back from the guns. Not forgetting her recall and heelwork that makes taking her out on shoot day a real pleasure  We just need to sometimes remind her about the stop whistle though!! Roxy is a Labrador like no other in looks and character.

River - Riverlily Spirit of Destiny

Sire Dalvoulin Fraser of Drakeshead

Dam Almshoebury Persuasion of Riverlily

Born 17.04.12


River is now aged 3 and has grown into the biggest, happiest, friendliest and kindest Labrador we know. He has taken a long time to mature but this year we are really excited as he will officially join our Picking Up Team and go out every week with us on the shoots. He loves retrieving especially if it is a real rabbit or game bird!  He is very steady to shot and falling game and has a really stylish delivery to finish off the retrieve. He is learning about sweeping and getting better at it all the time. Bless him.....once he finds one bird he sometimes thinks his job is done!


River now loves swimming and will happily go in any water, after not wanting to get his feet wet until he was well over a year old. We think he is a fantastic boy and we are very proud of him....all 37 kgs of him.


Follow his adventures on the shoots in our Dog Blog.

Star - Riverlily Angel of Adventure

Sire Dalvoulin Fraser of Drakeshead

Dam Almshoebury Persuasion of Riverlily

Born 17.04.12


Star has grown up into a little lightening package. Everything is done at full speed ahead!


She is tiny compared to her brother River. She only weighs about 20 kgs compared to his 37kgs. However, what she lacks in size she makes up for in speed and brain power.


She loves retrieving and no obstacle or cover will get in her way. She either jumps it, swims across it or ploughs straight through it.


We have been working really hard on her heelwork and steadiness in the shooting field, her ability to run in straight lines, stop whistle and handling.


This year Star is going to enter her first Novice Field Trial. Wish us luck.


Follow her progress this winter in our Dog Blog.


She is so much fun and very friendly too. We are loving training her.


In 2016 Star had a litter of 9 black puppies. She was a fantastic mum and all of them have grown up into super fast, intelligent, happy, loving and driven dogs.

Here at Riverlily we kept 2 of the puppies. Namely Sherman and Daisy.


Riverlily Working Dogs – Gundog and Handler in Partnership

IMG_9045 purple whistle greenwhistle url 016 (7) Kennet Valley Roxy Novice Winner

”Mya - winner of the

Novice Working Test URC Essex.

August 2013”


“Roxy - winner of the

Kennet Valley Novice Working Test. August 2013”


”Mya - second place URC

Essex Open Qualifier Working Test. May 2014"

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“Mya - winner UGS Eastern Counties Open Sugarbeet Walked up Working Test and winner of the award for the Best Marking Dog. August 2014"


2014-09-08 07.49.43

"Star -  Winner of the Cambridgeshire Gundog Club   Novice Charity Working Test. September 2014"



”Mya – fourth place Chatsworth Open Working Test. September 2014"


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"Mya - second place URC Bucks Open Working Test. March 2015"


"Roxy - third place Charity Open Working Test. Cambridgeshire Gundog Club. Sept 2015"


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"Mya - second place Open Charity Working Test. Luton Hoo. May 2014"


2015-06-01 10.04.51

"Mya - second place in the BASC Open Gundog Test in Essex. May 2015"


”Mya – member of the URC Bucks Team in the Inter Area Finals. June 2015"


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“Mya – COM URC Essex Open Qualifier. April 2015”


“Mya – COM URC Bucks Open Qualifier. May 2015”



“Mya – Fourth place Chiltern Gundog Society Open Water Test. August 2015”


IMG_4034 (2)

“Mya – Winner of the Charity Open Working Test. Cambridgeshire Gundog Club. Sept 2015”



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Mya - 2nd place URC Bucks Open Qualifier Working Test

May 2016



"Roxy - winner of Kestrelway Gundogs

Open Working Test. August 2016"


"Star - COM UGS HBB Novice Test

with water August 2016"


"Star - COM Kestrelway Gundogs

Novice Test August 2016"

013072-green-jelly-icon-animals-animal-cat-print 20151203_145515 20160904_190305

"Roxy - winner of Cambridgeshire Gundog

Club Charity Open Working Test.

Sept 2016"

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Sherman - Riverlily Summer Storm

Sire FTCH Kestrelway Freddie

Dam Riverlily Angel of Sunshine

Born 28.04.16


Sherman is one bold, confident and good looking boy. He was the biggest puppy in the litter from day 1 and has matured into a strong and brave dog who loves to work and play at top speed.



He has drive and style and thunders out and back on every retrieve. Teaching steadiness has been an interesting process with Sherman!


He is currently mastering the stop whistle and we are beginning to add more directional handling into his training program.


He hunts like a demon in cover and we are looking forward to taking him on our local shoots this winter to gain experience in the field.

Daisy - Riverlily Summer Star

Sire FTCH Kestrelway Freddie

Dam Riverlily Angel of Sunshine

Born 28.04.16


Sire FTCH Kestrelway Freddie

Dam Riverlily Angel of Sunshine

Born 28.04.16


Daisy was nicknamed Crazy Daisy in the litter as she spent the first few months of her very active life racing round and running and jumping on and over anything and everything.


Now she has grown up she has matured into a very fast, clever and extremely biddable girl who loves to please. She also has the biggest ears on a Labrador we have ever seen!


Daisy loves to retrieve and takes direction and the stop whistle all in her stride. She will join our picking up team this season to gain experience of live game. We are very proud of our little Daisy.

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