Ileal impaction is prevalent in the south-eastern USA, where feeding of Coastal Bermuda hay has been implicated as a risk factor. Alternatively, infection with the tapeworm Anoplocephala perfoliata has been identified as a risk factor for ileal impaction in the UK. We hypothesised that feeding Coastal Bermuda hay and failure to administer routinely an anthelmintic with efficacy against tapeworms would place horses at risk of developing ileal impaction in the USA. Seventy-eight horses, with surgically confirmed ileal impaction and 100 horses admitted for colic that did not have an ileal impaction, were selected retrospectively for logistic regression analysis. Using odds ratios (OR) as an index of risk, feeding Coastal Bermuda hay (OR = 2.9) and failure to administer a pyrantel salt within 3 months of admission (OR = 3.1) placed horses at risk of development of ileal impaction. This study confirms the belief that feeding Coastal Bermuda hay places horses at risk of ileal impaction, although the quality of the hay may also play a role. Periodic administration of anthelmintics with efficacy against tapeworms should be considered to reduce risk of ileal impaction.