Three groups of foals were raised under different management programs in this study: Group 1 (n = 6) and Group 2 (n = 6) were raised with their dams on pasture; Group 3 foals (n = 5) were raised under parasite-free conditions. Mares and foals of Group 1 received daily pyrantel tartrate (PT) treatment with their pelleted feed ration, whereas mares and foals of Groups 2 and 3 received only the pelleted ration. Pasture-reared foals were weaned and moved to a heavily contaminated pasture for 5 weeks. Group 1 foals continued to receive daily PT treatment whereas Group 2 foals received only the pelleted feed ration. Following this period, all foals were moved into box stalls. Half of each group was challenged with 10(3) Strongylus vulgaris infective third-stage larvae (L3), 5 x 10(3) Strongylus edentatus L3 and 10(5) mixed cyathostome L3; the remaining half served as unchallenged controls. Necropsy examinations were performed 6-week post-challenge for evaluation of parasite burdens and lesions. Daily PT treatment of Group 1 reduced the patent cyathostome infections of both mares and foals and was effective in reducing pasture burdens of infective larvae. Daily treatment of Group 1 foals during weaning continued to suppress EPG levels; however, it did not prevent large strongyle infections during the weaning period. Group 1 foals were more sensitive to challenge than Group 2 foals, which did not exhibit any post-challenge disturbances. Group 1 foals were equally susceptible to challenge as parasite-free foals.